The Anambra State Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof Kate Omenugha has finally revealed the secret behind the recent streak of excellence recorded by the state in both international and national academic contests.
Speaking on Tuesday at the “Meet the Media” forum organized by Governor Willie Obiano’s team in Awka, Prof Omenugha attributed the dazzling performance of Anambra school children to the successful transfer of Anambra’s Shared Values to them. Anambra has 10 Shared Values which are recited by school children every morning.
Anambra’s Ten Shared Values include; to make a positive impact on everyone I meet and everywhere I go, to be a solution provider and not a part of the problem to be solved, to be a role model worthy of emulation, to be my best in all I do, particularly the things I am naturally good at, to do the right thing at all times regardless of who is doing the wrong thing, to value time and make the best use of it, to care and show respect through my words and actions, to consciously build a great legacy starting now, today and every day, to live a life of integrity and honour and to make my family, my state, my nation and my God proud.
“We have made them to believe in themselves and who they are,” explained Prof Omenugha. “How did we do that? In the first retreat that Governor Obiano had in 2014 with his political appointees and EXCO members, we developed what we call Ten-shared values. I am always proud to talk about our 10 Shared Values because that is something that was done by this administration to begin to build the confidence of our school children. To begin to change their psyche about who they are and what they can do. To begin to make them believe in their capacities and capabilities.”
Prof Omenugha explained that the dazzling performance of Anambra school children in national and international academic, scientific and technological contests is a clear indication that the children had deeply assimilated the state’s Ten-Shared Values.
Said she: “That’s the key. That’s what I am saying, because we have driven it in. Education is about ideology. It is what you believe in that you profess and what you profess, that you do. We have our mantra – We say, ‘Nothing is impossible. I do not accept Failure. Yes, we can!’ Ask any Anambra child; he will tell you “I do not accept failure. Nothing is impossible. Yes, I can.” That’s our mantra. And what we do is to get it into the head of every Anambra child that nothing, absolutely is impossible! The can-do spirit. And therefore each time we tell them to go for laurels, we tell them you have to be the best you are, particularly in things you are naturally good at. You have to value time and make the best use of it, to consciously build a great legacy, starting now, today and every day. To live a life of integrity and honour, and to make my family, my state, my nation and my God proud, so help me God. It has worked like magic.”
Throwing more light on the psychological boost that was given to the legendary Regina Pacis girls that won Gold at the World Technovation Challenge San Farancisco in 2018, Prof Omenugha recalled that the actual journey to the Gold Medal began with a visit to Governor Obiano during a full session of the Anambra Executive Council in Awka.
“When the Technovation girls were going to America for the competition, I brought them to the EXCO Chamber to see the governor”, Omenugha recalled. “The governor told them, Ndi ocha enwero isi n’abo (the white people do not have two heads on their shoulders). You can win. You go there and bring the laurel and see what I can do. And they went and brought the laurel.”
Professor Omenugha also revealed that contrary to the speculation that the Golden Girls had been abandoned, the state government had set up a trust fund for their education covering SS2 to the university.
“We have in trust for them with the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha, their school fees up to the university level. Six years in the university. From SS2 and SS3 to the university. Six years of university. We have all the money put in trust for them with the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha. They are our stars. We are following up on them. They are our role models,” she further explained.
It would be recalled that since the inception of the Obiano administration, Anambra State has been a consistent super performer in all external examinations and other academic contests for students and teachers.
Following closely on the heels of the Gold Medal won by the Regina Pacis girls at the World Technovation Challenge, four boys from St John’s Science and Technical College, Alor in Idemili South Local Government Area of the state had also won Bronze medal at the International Festival of Engineering, Science and Technology that took place in Tunisia in March 2019.