In today’s knowledge economy, education is cardinal and human capital is integral. The quality and quantity of human capital constitute an indispensable imperative for the socio-economic development of modern societies, especially in a world increasingly influenced by pervasive technological transformation.
It is thus immensely reassuring that the government of Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo CFR, is putting human capital development, through education, at the core of rapid socio-economic development of Anambra State as a liveable and prosperous smart mega city.
Against all odds, the Soludo government is already breaking new grounds as he delivers on his pro-people manifesto and electoral promises with the historic hiring of primary and secondary school 5,000 teachers in one fell swoop.
The formal unveiling of the newly employed teachers on Friday December 2, 2022 in Awka brought massive excitement to everyone present. As 2,500 of the new teachers received their appointment letters from Governor Soludo, in a colourful ceremony covered live by Channels Television, it was an incredible spectacle of unprecedented history in the making.
It was incredible because the governor could take such critical progressive policy action amidst limited resources and competing demands. And it was unprecedented because it has been eight years since teachers were last recruited in Anambra State! It is even more surprising that the newly recruited teachers would be paid December salaries and other perks when they have barely started teaching. The would-be teachers were stunned when Soludo announced this cheering news. An open demonstration of a governor who truly cares for the people
If this is not the audacity of welfarism, what then could it be? In his exciting speech, Governor Soludo affirmed that “Today, we are keeping one of our promises. In our people’s Manifesto, we promised to “position Anambra as a centre of excellence for human capital development and proactively leapfrog our students/youths as Africa’s digital tribe”.
Indeed, the hiring of the 5,000 teachers is a masterstroke in positioning Anambra State as a centre of excellence. But beyond the infectious euphoria and genuine applause attending the mass recruitment, two issues also stand out to be put on record of history.
One is that the recruitment exercise was impressive in its absolute transparency and merit. The successful 5,000 teachers emerged through a rigorous and competitive evaluation process. There was no any extraneous factor of cronyism, nepotism or sentimental selection involved.
According to Governor Soludo in his speech, “We set out from the outset to do something uniquely transparent and with highest integrity.” He went further to assert why he could not permit any form of consideration other than merit. Hear him: “I have only one criterion for recruiting a teacher and that is to ask:
“Will I be proud for this person to teach my child?”
As a teacher himself, he knows that teaching is more than just a job; it is a serious lifetime purpose that can’t be treated with levity.
The second issue that inspires one from the historic recruitment is that, as earlier hinted, Governor Soludo is prioritising and optimising the greatest resource Anambra State has: human capital. Anambra is a well-endowed state that boasts among the most intelligent, most brilliant, most resourceful and most enterprising human species in the world.
So, the fact that Soludo is recruiting this unprecedented high number of teachers to train our future leaders tells a lot about his exceptional commitment to human capital development alongside his government’s many physical infrastructure development projects across the state.
Interestingly, the recruitment milestone by Soludo reminds one of a past glorious era when our own Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe undertook a pivotal role in radical educational development in Eastern Nigeria in the 1940s. By his own latest action, Prof. Soludo is bringing massive employment, promoting manpower development, building a brighter future for Ndi Anambra children, alleviating poverty, fostering quality education /affordable education, and reinforcing transparency and credibility in governance.
By and large, as the Soludo administration keeps firing on all cylinders of progressive development, prioritising education and human capital development, he is also setting Anambra State on the path to becoming a true liveable, smart city like South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Israel and Taiwan, advanced nations that have virtually no mineral resources but are smart to develop their human potential for greatness.
In no distant future, it is expected that the massive seeds of development that Governor Soludo is sowing today will be yielding fruits of monumental transformation that will reinforce Anambra State as truly ‘The Light of the Nation’.