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One area that eloquently attests to the depth of ruinous misrule in Imo State, at least in the past one decade, is the educational sector.

Statistics, indices and indicators have shown that Imo’s education urgently requires a state of emergency. The performance of Imo children in external examinations is currently nothing to write home about.

In 2013, of the 30,218 candidates that sat for the June/July NECO examinations, only 17,465 could get credit pass in five subjects including English and Maths. In 2014, the figure dropped to 16,863. In 2015, it became abysmally poor that only only 38% of the total candidates could pass. The situation is more unbearable if you looked at the November/December results of the same NECO examinations for 2016, in which just 22% of the total number of candidates could obtain credit pass in five subjects and in 2015 which only 168 candidates passed five subjects. In 2014, just 9.2% made it.
Records show that between 2011 and 2017 the admission rates of Imo students into tertiary institutions have drastically taken a nosedive. Of the 118,169 Imo candidates that took JAMB in 2010, 28,725, which represents 24% got admitted. However, in 2011, only 22% of the 120, 417 candidates could be admitted. In 2012, only 21% of the 130,863 candidates made it, and the percentage remained unchanged in 2013, and dropped further to 19% in 2014 and 2015, and to 18.6% in 2016, even when the national average increased to 30%.
Most key courses in the State’s tertiary institutions have lost accreditation by the relevant rating boards. This is what explains why in 2010 about 801 Imo candidates were admitted to study Law, while in 2012 and 2014, only 551 and 373 were admitted respectively. This is not also different from Engineering, which had 1,485 in 2010, but dropped to 863 in 2012, and has continued to drop till date. The worst is Pharmacy, which recorded 164 in 2010 but dropped to just 8 in 2012.
The most worrisome part of all these is that the future of Imo children has been jeopardized, even mortgaged. Any child that is denied a sound education has been denied a future. The greatest urgency now in Imo State is to reclaim the State from the clutches of bad governance and overhaul its educational architecture to reinvent the school system and reverse these negative trends in order to create a future every Imo child.
The Imo child can’t keep passing through the doors of a 19th Century school system only to be confronted with a 21st Century economy. Most of the curricula are out of touch with the realities and demands of the modern market, and even the learning facilities are at best deplorable.
This is why the educational blueprint of the Governorship Candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Sir Okey Ezeh, has developed programs that will remedy the situation. In line with its vision of empowering Imo children through education and unleashing their
entrepreneurial spirit,
skills acquisition would be fundamental in school curricula.
At JSS1, the student is meant to pick three skills to learn. At SS1, the student then specializes in one of the skills, and when leaving the secondary school, the student would have garnered proficiency and be issued a diploma in the skill on the one hand and a WAEC certificate on the other hand. The diploma would serve as collateral for obtaining a soft loan to live their dreams.
Capacity building and up-skilling would be effectuated to up the efficiency of Imo teachers and make them compliant to modern pedagogical tools. Learning facilities would be upgraded, motivation to learn and incentives to teach enhanced.
Scholarships would be restored to all industrious students.
We have a great opportunity to remake our education and through it raise the leaders of today because the future is now! #OkeyIsOkay!

By Collins Opurozor
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