From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
It used to be a farming land for the people of Owa-Oyibu community in Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State.
But on this vast expanse of land now sits the Teachers Professional Development Centre (TPDC), recently completed by the state government for the training, retraining and upgrading of the skills of teachers across Nigeria.
At the site are two major complexes of Administrative/Lecture theatre complex and the Residential complex.
Facilities at the centre include 500-seater capacity lecture theatre with attached projector room including sound system; another 200-seater capacity lecture theatre with projector stand including sound system; computer center/virtual library; and manual library center with a book store for library ooks at the small basement
Other facilities are an elevator, offices, stores, general convenience rooms; two integrated laboratories for Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Agricultural Science, Home Economics; two studios for Music and Arts; eight syndicate rooms for breakaway sessions; hall of residence comprising 110 bedrooms with kitchen and restaurant facilities; skill acquisition centre; and 300 KVA and 100 KVA power plants.
The centre also has a borehole system; security surveillance building; perimeter fencing; technical workshop at the basement of the 500-seater auditorium; and maintenance building.
Being the first of it’s kind in Nigeria, the host community is very proud to have donated the land for the project which according to the Obi of Owa Kingdom, Emmanuel Efeizomor II, has transformed the landscape of the agrarian community alongside the FRSC school that is almost completed.
Speaking at the commissioning of the centre by Governor Okezie Ikpaezu of Abia State, Obi Efeizomor who doubles as chairman of Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers, said he was thrilled by the ambience of the ultra modern centre.
“Looking at the sea of heads across what used to be our farmland, looking at these aesthetic and giant structures, I begin to wonder if there is still anybody in this state who would want to go to Dubai, Paris, London and others places for holiday,” the octogenarian monarch said.
He thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for the initiative to site “this fantastic project in Owa-Oyibu. With this institute, Okowa has wiped out illiteracy and poverty, and created light.
“This is the liberation from the shackles of poverty and ignorance for our people who have be living in squalor and economic penury.”
The monarch’s subjects said they are already reaping the fruits of the centre, as they insisted that the TPDC would open up the economic space of Owa-Oyibu and it’s environs.
According to one of the residents, Mr. Godspower Osiweghor, the vision behind the centre “is for teachers to continue to develop even after graduating from the university and gaining employment, they continue to develop themselves over time, and keep abreast with global best practices.
“You will agree with me that everyday things continue to evolve, things continue to change, and for them to change with the tide of event, it becomes imperative for them to be trained over time. So this project is very laudable.
“There is a lot of ways it can boost the economy of this community. It would bring about employment in not only this community, people from other communities would be engaged. Then people who work here will buy food and other items from the host community, so it has a way of empowering businesses.”
Another resident, Anthony Acha is also convinced that the centre would boost the economy of the community, saying that “It will encourage people to build more houses in form of hostels which would make people to earn more money.”
Secretary of the community youths in the area, informed Daily Sun that youths started benefitting since construction work commenced in 2017, adding that with the official opening of the centre, youths would be encounraged to further their education and also acquire skills.
Inaugurating the complex, Governor Okezie Ikpaezu of Abia State praised his Delta State counterpart, Ifeanyi Okowa for his investment in human capital development through education.
Ikpaezu said the huge investment in developing young people was already putting Delta ahead of other states in the country. According to Ikpeazu, the TPDC is a unique and symbolic institution that will significantly boost educational development beyond Delta State.
He said the best way to bring back the lost glory in education was for stakeholders to upgrade the technical know-how of teachers, update school curriculum and create an atmosphere conducive for learning.
“What Governor Okowa did by the establishment of the TPDC is beyond pedestrian governance. I am so thrilled that I am tempted to doff my cap for Okowa. He is a man who tackles issues with principle,” Ikpeazu added.
He, therefore, urged those who would manage the centre to do so in accordance with the vision establishing it.