How university profs from Uga, Anambra State, are helping secondary students from their community to prepare for public exams
From Ogbonna Nobis, Ekwulobia
Quality education is an essential ingredient in the development of any society. This must have informed the decision by nine professors from Uga community in Aguata Local Government Area, Anambra State, to ensure that education is given a top priority in the town through long vacation tutorials for indigenous students of the community.
The professors are, namely: Christian Ezeigbo, his wife, Akachi Ezeigbo, the internationally acclaimed novelist, prose stylist, poet, playwright and literary critic, Michael Maduekwe, Lawrence Ezeanika, (treasurer) and Michael Ezenwa. Others are: Goddy Umeasiegbu, Marius Umego, Christian Umezor, and Agatha Onwukwe.
For four years now, these professors have been taking it upon themselves to spend their time, energy and money, to organise academically beneficial vacation programme for students from the town, to enable them prepare very well for junior and senior external examinations.
To ensure big success of the programme, about 15 classroom teachers are hired to teach core subjects like English and Mathematics as well as science subjects which many students dread in schools. This year, more than 150 students, from within and outside Uga community, participated in the four weeks intensive studies. Some of the professors, apart from playing supervisory roles, often got involved in direct teaching and counseling, to ensure that participants gained maximally from the holiday coaching programme.
The closing ceremony of this year’s edition was held, with pomp and pageantry, at Boys Secondary School, Uga, venue of the vacation programme. It had in attendance dignitaries like President General of Uga Improvement Union (UIU), Chief Sir James Umezuluora and members of his executive council, former secretary, Post-Primary School Service Commission (PPSSC), Anambra State, Barr. Mrs. Elizabeth Umeh, (now retired), and her husband.
Speaking on the occasion, chairman of the association, Prof. Christian Ezeigbo explained that the professors’ decision to come together to assist in the education development of the community was informed by their concern about the dwindling performance of students, especially in external examinations.
According to him, the nine professors from Uga have continued to provide funds and other logistics to ensure success of the programme and advised the students to make judicious use of the things they had been taught. He also appealed to the executives of the town union to assist in the sponsorship of the laudable programme in order to keep sustaining it.
During the closing ceremony, two students, namely, Master Chukwuebuka Animudu and Miss Cynthia Ezeakukwulu, who excelled in the programme, by topping others during the question and answer session aimed at assessing the students on what they learnt were given a cash prize of N10, 000 each, in an award sponsored by Mr. Azubuike Okpalaoka.
Other professors who spoke advised the students on the need to take their studies seriously in order to gain admission into institutions of higher learning as well as become useful to themselves in the society. In her speech, the Principal, Girls Secondary School, Uga, Mrs. Chinyere Okpala, called on parents in the community to assist the school authorities in curbing lateness to school among students.
Responding to the request made by the association to the town union executives to take over the sponsorship of the programme, Chief Umezulora appealed to it to continue with the good work it is doing as the town union was incapable of carrying such responsibility.
The President-General who commended the professors for taking the initiative to introduce the programme which he said is the first of its kind in the state, called on the students to make the best of the opportunity offered by it to better themselves academically.