By Barr Ekene Bob-Ekechukwu
On Friday the 30th of August, 2019, the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Prof. (Noble Lady) Viola Adaku Onwuliri paid a visit to Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo. She was warmly recieved by the Acting Rector, Dr Patrick Ndionyenma Njoku and the Principal Officers of the Institution. In a meeting with the Management of the Institution, the Commissioner informed them of the government’s resolve to clean the rot generated in the educational sector during Rochas Okorocha’s administration and to develop the Polytechnic in line with the Rebuild Imo Agenda of Gov Emeka Ihedioha.
She harped on the need to appraise the state of affairs in the system to enable government make necessary plans to rejuvenate the Institution. Consequently, she directed the Polytechnic Management to bring up a comprehensive report on staff details and other relevant information on the Institution. However, she advised them to endeavour to checkmate the spate of sexual harrasment of female students by lecturers, indecent dressing on campus, cultism, extortion and other vices which she said were inimical to the Rebuild Imo Agenda of the administration.
She charged the Management to ensure that such vices were eliminated from the system so that the Institution can develop. She also told the Management about the Governor’s readiness to develop the Institution by investing more funds and attracting more TETfund facilities in the Institution. In conclusion, she provided a hotline for public complaints, stressing that government was ready to carry everyone along in the plan to develop the University.
In his response, the Rector expressed his appreciation to the Commissioner for making out time to visit the Institution. He informed the Commissioner that the Polytechnic had been starved of funds since Okorocha’s government reduced the subventions. He said that the Institution also lacked logistics, basic amenities and was in dire need of infrastructural improvements. He requested for the government’s urgent intervention especially in the area of increasing the subventions, accreditation of courses, payment of arrears of pension, lack of power supply, payment of salary arrears, to mention but a few.
He stated that with the coming of this administration, the misunderstanding between the Institution and the host communities have been resolved. Stressing that through dialogue with Traditional Rulers and host communities, the peace which had hitherto eluded the Institution, has returned once again. He also thanked Gov Emeka Ihedioha for graciously approving the payment of 100% salaries from the 68% paid by Okorocha’s government. He promised to tackle the vices mentioned by the Commissioner, while still pledging the loyalty of the Management to the Rebuild Imo Agenda of Gov Ihedioha.
At the end of the meeting, the President of the Students Union Government (SUG) of the Polytechnic made a special presentation of an “Award of Honour” as “an Icon of Hope for Education” in the State to the Commissioner.