BY SUNNY A. DAVID
While still basking in the euphoria of emerging first position in the 2020 common entrance examination into the Federal Government School for Gifted Children for the fourteenth consecutive year, Anambra State Ministry of Education has again bagged another award.
This time, it is from the African Students’ Union Parliament, ASUP who recognized the Commissioner for Basic Education, Professor Kate Omenugha with Pan African Distinguished Leadership Award.
The Group presented the award to the Commissioner during a courtesy call on her at the Conference hall of the Ministry at Jerome Udorji State Secretarait in Awka.
Our correspondent was at the award ceremony and reports the African Students Union Parliament is the umbrella body that covers all the students within the fifty four African Union member countries with the core objectives of encouraging corporation of students in the African region for the purpose of students exchange programmes, objective analysis of issues that affect students and encouragement of stakeholders and public office holders to drive peace, development, and economic stability of the continent.
The visit by the parliament is also part of their sensitization against drug abuse in the continent which they feel is inhibiting the optimal performance of students in the continent and grossly affecting development of the region.
In the speech by the Speaker of the Parliament, Right Honourable Kewul Mensah of the Institute of Professional Studies, Accra, Ghana, read by the Director of Programmes of the Parliament, Comrade Temple Ozim, said that Professor Omenugha was nominated for driving developmental policies in the education sector and for promoting the interests of students at the conference of the Parliament at the University of Ghana, Legoon Accra.
The Speaker, Honourable Mensah described Professor Omenugha as a detribalised Nigerian whose love for students and educational development has made her an African Icon worthy of emulation.
The Majority Leader of the Parliament , Honourable Kwasi Faustin of the Universite de Cocodi, Abidjan, Cote d’Voire who spoke in French before presenting the award, stated that it is commendable that the Anambra State Government has recognized the importance of putting women in charge of very important government portfolios and reiterated the Parliament’s commitment to ensuring that African students have access to quality and accessible education.
Responding, the Basic Education Commissioner, Professor Omenugha explained that the State government’s strategic objective in education which is that the learning needs of all must be met through equitable distribution of resources and learning of life long skills and to ensure that Anambra State is one of the three top States with the lowest illiteracy rate form the catalyst for the success recorded by the State in the education sector since the inception of the administration in 2014.
She further explained that this strategic objectives in line with the core values of the State being taught to students also inspired the government’s interests on children with special needs and the girl child to give them access to quality education including the award of scholarships to one hundred and seven students from riverine communities of State.
Commissioner Omenugha was accompanied at the ceremony by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Mrs. Nwando Obiano and other top management staff of the Ministry.
While other members of the African Students Union Parliament delegation include Honourable Adjei Frimpong of the University of Ghana who is also the Clerk of the Parliament and Chairman, House Committee on Awards and Privileges, the Chairman of the House Committee in Action and Mobilization, Comrade Patrick Ugwu of University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the Chairman, House Committee on Gender, Comrade Chisom Oyeneke of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
The Highpoint of the event was the presentation of the Pan African Distinguished Service Award to the Basic Education Commissioner and the presentation of the publications of the ministry that has driven its policies in the education sector to the delegation of the African Students’ Union Parliament.