By Christian ABURIME 

In a momentous display of compassionate and egalitarian governance, Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR, has ushered in a new era for education in Anambra State. This could well be described as a strategic revolution!

The government has abolished all fees and levies in state government-run public schools, from nursery level to JSS3, effectively making education virtually free for countless students.

The governor announced this heart-warming news while on recent official visits to Premier Primary School, Obosi and Ado Girls Secondary School, Onitsha, and Community Secondary School, CSS, Isuofia, Aguata Council Area, three of the public schools in the state. 

Previously, while public schools were officially tuition-free, students were still burdened with various levies. For instance, Junior Secondary School, JSS1 to JSS3 students were paying between N5, 000 and N8, 000, while Senior Secondary School, SSS1 to SSS3 students were subject to levies ranging from N8, 000 to N12, 000. Even primary school pupils were not exempted, facing levies as high as N2, 000. 

But thanks to Governor Soludo’s magnanimous intervention, these fees and levies have been completely eradicated. Moreover, levies in SSS1 to SSS2 have been significantly reduced to a maximum of N5, 000, which will contribute towards the operational costs of the schools, along with support from the state government. 

This monumental decision signifies that starting from the 2023/2024 academic session, education will be genuinely free for pupils in Nursery to Primary schools, as well as in JSS1 to JSS3 Secondary Schools across Anambra State. 

In the immediate and long term, the abolition of school fees is poised to alleviate financial burdens on parents and guardians, ultimately reducing poverty rates and allowing for the redirection of hard-earned resources towards more productive ventures to augment household incomes.  

Without doubt, Governor Soludo’s generous policy gesture aligns with the Federal Government of Nigeria’s constitutional mandate for states to provide free primary or secondary education in their respective domains. 

It also marks the commencement of a strategic academic revolution by the Soludo government, poised to elevate the public education system to a model status within the sector. 

In the forthcoming months and years, the Anambra State government will be investing more heavily in rebuilding infrastructure in public schools, underscoring its commitment to these educational reforms. It is also the goal of Governor Soludo to make education an effective equalizer of socio-economic opportunities, not just for the future generation, but also for the present youth of Ndi Anambra, with the ambitious goal of mainstreaming education as the foundation of a better society. 

The foregoing initiative is part of a broader spectrum of inclusive policies by Governor Soludo’s government. It would be recalled that the same Soludo government, in his unveiling of special economic relief package, recently announced free antenatal and delivery healthcare services for pregnant women in Anambra’s public hospitals. 

He also granted certain waivers on levies and taxes being paid by the most vulnerable members of society such as artisans, drivers, hawkers, traders and so on. When all these gestures are put in perspective along with the abolition of tuition fees, they reflect a truly responsive leadership that is attuned to the needs of its citizens at all times. 

Meanwhile, the Governor has also promised to employ additional 3,000 teachers. Recall about 5,000 teachers were employed last when the administration was barely nine months in office

In the grand scheme of things, these pro-people and progressive policies are integral components of the overarching vision to transform Anambra State into an African Dubai-Taiwan axis of sustainable prosperity. 

Steadily, Governor Soludo’s administration is paving the way for a brighter future, where education and other social reforms will be a beacon of hope and opportunity for all. 

Surely, Anambra State will continue to win and be the light to greatness.

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