APC Senatorial Hopeful Bags GCORA Honours

Chief Okoi Obono-obla, Cross River Central APC Senatorial Aspirant 

Cross River Central Senatorial District Senatorial hopeful, Chief Okoi Obono-obla has been honoured with the The Grand Commander of Republic of Alimunguno (GCORA) award.

The honour was conferred on him by the Post Graduate Students' Government of the University of Calabar, Calabar yesterday in a ceremony held at the Senate Chambers of the University.

Addressing the students as a keynote speaker on the topic "Emerging Educational Needs in a Covid 19 Era", Obono-obla said that apart from the health sector, there's no other sector that has suffered from the pandemic like the education sector.

While regretting that COVID 19 has changed the world economy, in terms of association, culture, social interaction, learning and teaching, he added that it has left lasting scars through erosion of human capital through lost work and schooling, lower investment, as well as the fragmentation of global trade and supply linkages.

"Arising from the coronavirus pandemic, while many countries of the world have adapted and switched to virtual learning to ensure effective, inclusive and safe return to quality learning for students and teachers; this is not only difficult but also impossible in Nigeria due to lack of facilities necessary to operate virtual classes, poor internet network, unstable power supply, high cost of mobile data and other litany of challenges", the former Presidential Aide said.

The APC Chieftain who said the federal government allocated only N509 billion to education in 2020 due to the effect of the pandemic, mainatned that Nigeria and other African countries have failed to meet the UNESCO recommendation that 10 to 15% of annual budget should be dedicated to education.

He admitted that lack of funding in education is affecting wider development issues, including health, poverty and economic growth and it is evident in the dearth of infrastructure in Nigeria Universities, of which the University of Calabar is a classical example.

In his words, "It is also an already established fact that even the “learn from home” radio and television teaching method introduced by the ministry of education during the Covid 19 lockdown did not yield any meaningful results due to the fact that majority of target audience do not have access to power and are living below poverty line and unable to afford radios and televisions.

The closure of all schools via a Federal Government circular of march 19th 2020 to prevent the spread of the Corona virus (COVID 19) affected close to 46 million students throughout the country. This number active population is reasonably large to be kept idle".

He however charged the university management and students to be ready and willing to embrace the new trend in teaching and discharge of duties.
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