Do you know why the Chief Whip of the 9th Senate, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has been so concerned about the present Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike? Do you know why he begs the President to talk to ASUU and meet up with their demand? I will tell you.
Dr. Kalu has always been a true and compassionate leader who loves and values education. When he was a state governor, because of his love for education, OUK drastically subsidized school fees to N35,000 for students in Abia State University. He was passionate about enabling schools to become better places for students to learn and for teachers to work. He arithmetically increased subventions to the Abia State University, Uturu, Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, and the College of Education (Technical), Arochukwu. The same could be said of infrastructure and other facilities that enhanced cognitive capacity in the citadels of learning. The rehabilitation of primary and secondary schools by his administration shows him as a transformational leader and change agent who had great dreams of what public education could be. It is also pertinent to state here that all through tenures of Dr. Kalu as executive governor, there was no single industrial action by workers in the state because of the harmony that existed between the workers and government (OUK). The only time workers embarked on strike was when ASUU embarked on a national strike. Academic activities were never interrupted in any of the tertiary institutions in our state throughout the duration of our government, making the students to graduate when they should. All these were made possible because Dr. Kalu went to Abia State University and negotiated a deal with the state’s chapter of ASUU and they told him they would join their colleagues to commence the action and would back out after two days. And they kept to their words. This is exactly why he tokd the oresent federa government to keep the agreement they had with ASUU so as to call off the srike for the sake of Nigrian students.
Do you also know that OUK, the philanthropist, owns a foundation that provided and still provides scholarships for undergraduates? Till date, I mean as I am talking to you, Dr. Kalu still gives scholarship to many students. I can categorically say that there are many people under education scholarship from the Orji Uzor Kalu Foundation, from primary education to the university level.
This is what OUK did in education as a governor, which made him stand out among the South-East governors in his time. As a senator, he did wonders in education but that will be story for another day.