By Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu

Indeed, better times are here once again for Abia children. In a question of months, if not days, digital learning will be pioneered this part of the world. And this innovation will shoot them miles ahead of their contemporaries.

In the words of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu” with that device, my children will ahead of other children in Nigeria”.

The most interesting episode of this narrative is that the state has taken delivery of the machines that will teach Abia children using the smart box.

Another interesting feature of this digital learning process is that it can reach up to 25 subjects with different curricular already programmed in the machine.

The story is not yet completed as four model schools across the senatorial districts will soon spring up. The model schools will be located at Obingwa, Osisioma, Ohafia, and Umuahia.

The current innovation is one in a million. Remember the Education for Employment Programme (E4E). A programme that was conceptualized around creating employment and to ensure that education leads to employment by imbuing the youths with the technical skills that would enable them to become either self-employed or sought after by others. E4E reactivated Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) in the state.

It was also conceptualised in training youths in various technical and vocational skills to take up jobs in industries or be self-employment and help grow the economy.

This was a perfect interpretation of the Chinese proverb of “teaching the youths how to fish instead of giving them fish”.

“In this new Abia” according to Gov. Ikpeazu during his inaugural speech at Umuahia Township Stadium, “instead of giving our people fish (handouts), we will focus on leading them to grow economically”.

Gov. Ikpeazu is vigorously pursuing his manifesto on education which is captured thus” Our focus on education will be extensive as we believe that the strength of Abia lies in her people. As such, the transformation of the education sector in Abia State will involve both public and private institutions. We will develop an all-inclusive master plan to drive development and progress within the sector.

“The master plan will incorporate restructuring the education curricula for primary, secondary and state-owned tertiary institutions to ensure our children and youths are empowered with sound knowledge and technical skills to survive and add value in the ever-evolving labour market.

“We will promote the emergence of Abia as an education hub/ destination by attracting and diligently fast-tracking the establishment of internationally recognized education providers in the state; taking advantage of the secure environment and social infrastructure we will provide.

“Having recognized the key role of education in our reform and repositioning of Abia State, we will drive incisive reform of the public education system. The reformed education system will also boost our IGR base, and contribute to funding our other social and economic development programmes“Our government will resuscitate all the existing programme- specific vocational programmes and institutions across the state. In areas where we identify gaps, we will establish new vocational training centres to address those gaps. These will be emphasised to support our key economic sectors to ensure relevance and sustainability. Facilitate the rollout of massive ICT infrastructure to improve the adoption of e-commerce and internet usage; encourage advanced skills training and development for both teachers; create a database of unemployed youths to facilitate their gainful employment in due course”.

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