Mixed reactions have trailed Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha’s creation of new higher institutions in the state even as some say they amount to a waste of resources and others welcomed the idea. Some of the respondents said in Owerri that the idea was not well thought out.
A post-graduate student of Imo State University, Mr Ekerete Nyoyoko, said the governor should have focused on improving the quality of existing institutions in the state.
Nyotoko described the relocation of the faculties of Agriculture and Engineering to Onuimo, Aboh Mbaise and Ngor-Okpala as a “ridiculous plan”.
“Changing the name from faculty to university and changing its location does not make a faculty a university,” he said.
Nyotoko urged the National Universities Commission to intervene and stop the “haphazard” creation of new universities without following due process.
Mr Charles Osuagwu, who passed out from Ahiara Technical College faulted the governor’s plan to upgrade the school to a polytechnic.
Osuagwu said the governor should have created more technical colleges in the state to encourage skill acquisition for the youth, adding that technical colleges were fast going extinct and stressed that those still open should be upgraded with modern equipment and revised curriculum to enable them produce craftsmen.
Chinyere Anyanwu, a teacher, said that although Nigeria had exited economic recession, Imo was still struggling from its effects, and called on state government to focus on improving the quality of lives of public servants before starting new projects.
“Our governor should ensure our full salaries are paid promptly to save us from the hardship we have become used to. Things are bad enough for those of us who live in Owerri, those working in those relocated faculties will have to commute daily to those areas and it will greatly reduce their income.
“Before these colleges of education and polytechnics take off fully, his tenure will expire and it will become another abandoned projects. He should focus on improving the facilities at Imo State University and Imo State Polytechnic to enable them get full accreditation,” she said.
Other teachers, argued that new tertiary institutions would not solve the problem of the falling standard of education in the state, and called for more focus on improving the quality of the government’s attempt at providing free education for the people, adding that the governor should have paid more attention to elevating the standard of education in public schools than establishing new institutions.
The new institutions are University of Engineering, Onuimo, University of Agriculture, Aboh Mbaise, Ihitte Uboma College of Education and Ehime Polytechnic.
He also upgraded the National High School Aroundizogu to College of Education and Ahiara Technical College to Polytechnic.