Governor of Delta State, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, on Tuesday 26th January, struck the right chord at the right time by sending a Bill to the State House of Assembly, for the upgrade of the College of Education Agbor,
Ozoro Polytechnic and Anwai Campus of Delta State University, to full fledged Universities, so as to accommodate more Jambites jostling for admission in the state.
This further clarification was made by the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Communications, Dr Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe, in a statement on Thursday, 28th January; saying that the state government deserved accolade for boosting the sector with additional three Universities; meant to enhance formal education at varying stratum; education, agriculture, science and technology, in the state.
He posited that the triangular relationship existing among the three newly proposed institutions of higher learning, is in conformity with the state and federal government focus on citizens specialised academic pursuits for growth and development, pointing out that each of the Universities is meant to address critical and specific aspects of advanced knowledge in line with global practices.
Oghenesivbe, further asserted that the College of Education Agbor, is the oldest among the other colleges in the state; established in 1979 by Prof Ambrose Ali administration, in the defunct Bendel State, saying that as a premier institution, it stands out as the most ideal citadel of learning that should be upgraded to a full fledged University, under this dispensation.
He however suggested that the other Colleges of Education at Mosogar and Warri should also be upgraded to University campuses under Agbor, for the award of degree Certificates in Education, and do away with the award of National Certificate in Education, pointing out that the College of Education in Mosogar, is currently partnering with the University of Benin, for degree awarding academic programmes. That arrangement is no longer justified because we now have a University of Education, in the state.
Oghenesivbe, urged Deltans not to generate bad blood because of the two Universities approved for Delta North Senatorial District, saying that the establishment of University of Education in Agbor is reasonable, considering the fact that it had produced thousands of graduates for Delta North, Delta South and Delta Central, since inception in 1979, and will continue to do so because the University is to serve all Deltans, not strictly for the people of Delta North.
Okowa’s EAC noted that the state capital of Asaba and environ, must be properly developed to reflect her status, and in so doing deserved a full fledged University and other physical infrastructural development; which is why it is a welcome development to establish the Delta State University of Science and Agriculture, in Anwai, Asaba.
In the same token, he said upgrading Ozoro Polytechnic to a University of Science and Technology is timely, but suggested that government should take a step further to ensure that the state Polytechnics at Ogwashi-Uku and Oghara should equally be upgraded to campuses of the University, for the award of degrees, and phase out Diploma Certificates from our educational system.
“We must not politicize the upgrade of the three institutions. They were upgraded for Deltans, irrespective of geographical location within the state. We are all beneficiaries of government investments in these institutions.
“Equity, justice and the rule of law are the bedrock of good governance, and I dare to say that governor Okowa has done well and it is not out of place for the people to ask for more, and more they shall get in the nick of time and within the lifespan of this administration.
“As rightly pointed out by the Honourable Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof Patrick Muoboghare, the decision was taken after critical evaluation of the sector, particularly the polytechnics and the Colleges of Education; wherein it was observed that it will be cheaper and more viable to upgrade the institutions for the benefit of University admission seekers, and appropriate funding by government.
“Change is dynamic and we must be united in support of government policies, programmes, actions and inactions, so as to move the state forward at a time like this. It is only fair to commend the governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, for his unique style of governance and proactive leadership.
“The Universities will admit students from Delta Central, Delta North and Delta South. Teaching and non teaching staff shall be recruited from across the three senatorial districts, which is why we must see this development from a broad based perspective, rather than view it from political, ethnic and tribal perspectives.
“The governor meant well and shall always do the needful for the development of the state. He will from time to time invoke his political willpower, wealth of experience as a super technocrat, and to consistently and strategically deploy government statecraft apparatus to spread dividends of democracy across the three senatorial districts,” Oghenesivbe assured.