From Obinna Odogwu, Awka

Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has made a case for the establishment of a separate education curriculum for the South East region, saying that it would help in the development of the geopolitical zone.

Soludo made the proposal while speaking at the South East regional conference on Human Capital Development (HCD) held in Awka, the state capital on Friday.

The conference, themed: Changing the Narrative – Towards Entrenching Human Capital Development in South East Nigeria, was attended by participants from all the five South Eastern states including the representatives of their governors.

Soludo, who was reacting to recommendations and policy documents unveiled by technocrats at the conference on education, labour and health, said they can be adopted by the governors of the region to grow human capital.

“Your recommendations are excellent. I will read them with keen interest and see which of them we can take. We have little land mass in the South East. We are actually the smallest with Lagos State, but while Lagos is reclaiming land from the sea, we are losing our land to gully erosion.

“Anambra is the world’s gully erosion capital. In the South East, we are landlocked, and we have least mineral resources. Our only boost is human capital.

“Human capital naturally is our only dependable resource. It has been so yesterday and today, and will remain so tomorrow. This conference is pivotal to who we are. And if we do not mind about human resources, then we are going nowhere. We must work on that.

“I listened to your recommendations on education, but who said the South East cannot set up a regional education board to fashion out a curriculum for students in the region.

“Must we always use what others are using? Who knows, you may fashion out a curriculum that will attract the interest of other people, and the world at large.

“The various governments of the South East can come together and set up a teacher certification institute to certify teachers for schools in the region too.

Related News

“We have heard in the past when some governments of the South East had to send home some workers, saying they are not from our state. We just recruited 5,000 teachers in Anambra State, but I told the ministry not to accept if I recommend anybody to them. We employed people from every state.

“All I need is for the best teachers to be employed. Our children deserve the best teachers, and all they hope to get is the very best, no matter where the teachers come from.

“In my own eyes, I don’t see those boundaries and for the greatness of Nigeria, we must not see those boundaries.”

Soludo reiterated his call for the patronage of locally manufactured goods, saying that so dong was the only way to boost the economy.

“How do you get the farmers to go and produce food; how do you encourage the graduates to go into farming and the rest, if you do not patronise them?

“For me, I wear Akwaete, a local fabric, which is handmade. To me, it is not just fashion but a bold statement, and today, if you go to Akwaete in Abia State where the materials are produced, the demand has gone up, and the women producing them are happy”, he said.

Focal Person of the HCD, Mrs Chiamaka Nnakee, said that the HCD program had three thematic areas and six outcomes to assess and track progress across HCD thematic areas.

Nnake, who doubles as the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning in the state, said that “In Anambra, Human Capital Development is at the heart of what we do.”

“It is one of the key pillars of our five Solution Agenda which involves building human capital that is productive at home and exportable abroad.

“Anambra social agenda focuses on four key areas. The first is Education – where we are working towards creating a sustainable educational system that is required for the transition to a post-oil Nigeria and the 4th industrial revolution.

“In this area, our priorities include overhauling the education system – revamping physical infrastructure, equipping students with educational tools, ensuring accreditation, and updating curriculum amongst others”, she said.