The Secretary to the State Government, Mr. George Eche disclosed this in Owerri at the ongoing Verification exercise organized for Imo indigenes at the State-owned Tertiary Institutions who are benefitting from the gesture. At the inception of the Governor Rochas Okorocha-led administration in Twenty eleven, education was declared free at primary and post primary levels in all public schools in the state.
Few months later, the gesture was extended to all the state-owned Tertiary Institutions including Schools of Nursing and Health Technology.
Speaking to Newsmen in Owerri, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. George Eche explained that the essence of the ongoing verification was to generate accurate data of students that are currently benefitting from the free education policy.
“The idea is to capture who exactly are Imo state citizens and to build a data base of who they are, and to inculcate in them, the fact that government is training them for free despite the very lean resources that is available to government now”.
Addressing the Students at the verification centre in Owerri, the Chief of staff to the Governor, Mr. Uche Nwosu assured them of the determination of the government to sustain the programme beyond the life of the present administration.
“From the form they have to go back to their villages and get endorsement from their traditional ruler and also get endorsement from the Secretary of the CGC that is President- general like that they will know that they are from so so and so local government, let me tell you that some of them don’t even know their local government, the free education has come to stay.”
Some of the beneficiaries told Radio Nigeria that they were happy for the policy.
“Because of the free education, I could achieve a lot in the medical school, I have not paid a dime since I got admission into the university.”
“My siblings they are here and if not for the free education I don’t think there is a way we can do it but I just thank the government for giving us the free education.”
“Textbooks wont they be free as well, departmental fee wont it be free.”
They however appealed to the government to address the problem of inadequate infrastructure facing the Institutions.