Rep Anayo Onwuegbu (PDP- Enugu State) has pledged to partner the National Teachers Institute (NTI) and the National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB) to end illiteracy in his constituency.
Onwuegbu, representing Oji River/Awgu/Aninri federal constituency, made the pledge when officials and students of NTI and NABTEB at Apugoeze Study Centre, Enugu paid him a working visit in Enugu on Sunday.
The lawmaker noted that the partnership would promote the culture of writing and reading among the rural dwellers in his constituency and afford indigent persons access to education.
He announced that he paid for admission forms for 240 candidates selected from the three council areas of his constituency to cover Pre National Certificate on Education (NCE), NCE, Bachelor of Education and the Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) programmes.
He also pledged to pay tuition fees for 300 candidates for the NTI programme and an additional 300 for NABTEB students, including their exams and tuition for May/June 2024 examinations at Akpugoeze.
According to him, the greatest asset one can give to humanity is education, stressing that if one gives money, it will filter out while knowledge acquired cannot.
While accepting for the study centre to be named after him, the legislator thanked the Centre’s Coordinator, Dr Ben Onwudinjo, for his selfless services rendered to humanity through education.
“I want to openly accept your proposal to name the centre after me but the only thing I can request from Onwudinjo is to carry the assignment fully for the success of the programme in the constituency.
“I am representing the Greater Awgu and we cannot have the centre in Akpugoeze alone, it will certainly require us to establish centres in the 41 wards we have because the targeted people dwell in the rural areas.
“They go to their farms and also create time for learning. Let us cash into this project and hold it firmly; it is more important than citing projects that everybody is talking about.
“You can build roads even hospitals but illiterate mind is sickness forever.
”And liberating the mind of an individual is far more than all the infrastructure available,” Onwuegbu stressed.
“l am going to take the programme very seriously, so let’s not joke or politicise it.
Why I was touched, it is different from the usual jamboree of scholarships.
Onwuegbu who lauded NTI for the project, thanked the centre for identifying with the opportunity, assuring that he would be partnering with NTI and NABTEB to achieve the project.
He enjoined the coordinator to seek the approval of the state government through the Ministry of Education, especially as the government was modernising education through SMART Schools, to bring them into the programme for maximum benefits.
The Coordinator NTI, Enugu State, Mrs Amaka Onyia, appealed to the lawmaker to support the study centre so that more students would be admitted in its 2024 programme.
She told Onwuegbu that by supporting the centre, illiteracy would be reduced in the constituency stressing that many people dropped out of school because of lack of funds.
“Supporting this programme will increase their ability to read and write and also bring education to the door step of the rural people,” she told the lawmaker.
The Coordinator explained that once their registration and tuition fees were paid, NTI would provide the students with the needed books for their study.
Earlier, Onwudinjo said the visit was to formally present to Onwuegbu the scholarship scheme for his constituents as one of his constituency projects and naming of the study centre as Anayo Onwuegbu Study Centre.
“Your name that appears in their respective certificates from now shall forever bear permanent golden testimonies to your contributions to humanity”.
He explained that the centre already had 60 widows, orphans, drop outs and indigent persons registered to study Pre-NCE, NCE, Degree and PGDE through the Distance Learning Mode, starting from January.
The coordinator explained that in the next three years, the centre would be graduating 300 teachers annually not only to meet widening local needs but for exports to other parts of the state and beyond through the support of the lawmaker.