The Ihe community in Awgu local government area of Enugu state has pleaded for legislation that would give legal backing to the establishment of a proposed University of Education in Ihe by the Enugu state government.
Delivering a lead paper on the role of education in community development – a centenary celebration of western education in Ihe, at the 4th Ihe Development Initiative, IDI, Prominent Catholic priest and indigene of the community, Rev Fr Emeka Udeonu expressed confidence in Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s actualization of the proposed university at Ihe.
The clergy among other indigenes of the community said they were certain that Governor Ugwuanyi has the potential to actualize the rare university of education, but stressed that once the enabling law was passed; all hands would be on deck to fasten the actualization.
“There is no meaningful alternative route to this actualization outside the immediate passage and signing into law of this very noble proposal. The good news is that the Governor himself has given his word that this would be done very urgently,” Udeonu said.
He stated that the community was known for her deep religiosity, resilience, courage, open-mindedness, egalitarianism, creativity, skillfulness, communalism and commitment to enviable progress even before the coming of the colonial masters to the community.
President of IDI, Mr. Onyekachi Eneonwo stated that the initiative was a human capital development organization with the cardinal objective of encouraging and supporting socioeconomic development in Ihe which through the sponsorship of various cadres of education motivates and harnesses the brilliant minds in the community.
IDI degree of sponsorship include; a one off grant of one million naira given to a PhD student; Masters Degree scholarship award in any discipline in any Nigerian Public university; an annual cash prize of given to the best overall students from JS1 to SS1, including cash prize to the best 2 students in SS 2 at Community Secondary School Ihe.
Other categories include the Pa Lawrence Enewe Agu Memorial award that commemorates the first indigenous teacher who volunteered to serve in Ihe’s first primary school, an annual cash prize given to respective overall first and second best students in the four public primary schools from basic one to five.
There is also the Ma Cecilia Ozoemena Eneonwo Memorial Award, an award given to the overall best candidate in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME); Sylvester Ekoh Ogboh Memorial Award to a candidate who is admitted to study MBBS, Pharmacy, Dentistry or Nursing in any Nigerian University and cash award to the overall first, second and third students with at least 5 credits including English and mathematics from community secondary school Ihe.
Cash prize is given to the first, second and third best candidates of the annual IDI science competition and a PGD scholarship that provides opportunity for those with HND who want to pursue Masters programs. IDI equally provides stipends to an engaged PTA mathematics/ science teacher in community secondary school Ihe, which ensures that the school has adequate hands in the teaching of mathematics/science.
Additionally, IDI is sponsoring an Ihe history project that aims at archiving historical information regarding Ihe. The project when completed will provide future generations with information regarding the history and culture of Ihe people. IDI also recently launched the teacher performance award.
“This award was instituted to incentivize the primary and secondary school teachers. It is hoped that this will motivate the teachers to give their utmost best.
While we acknowledge that there are several organizations doing their bits, a lot more needs to be done in the area of education in Ihe. To this end I would like to solicit your support and financial contributions in order to help IDI sustain its core objectives,” Eneonwo solicited.
Community leader and Chairman of the function Air Commodore Afam Chukwu (Rtd) noted that IDI has become an institution for development and progress, promoting scholarship and galvanizing the indigenes for promotion of education. “Soon we will gather to celebrate the efforts of IDI, soon doctors, professors and professionals in all spheres of life will be developed for the society,” Chukwu said.