Anambra State Commissioner For Education Lauds UNN VC

Anambra State Commissioner For Education Lauds UNN VC

The Anambra State Commissioner for

Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha, has

praised a former vice chancellor (VC) of

the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN),

Prof. Bede Nwoye Okigbo, attempting to

revive the deficient reading culture in

the country and the Igbo language.

He is also launching the book, titled ‘Uwa

gbara ayi gburugburu’ (meaning ‘the

world around us’) is aimed at teaching

school children at all levels about their


According to Omenugha, the Igbo science

book is a welcome development as the

ministry is doing all it can to promote the

Igbo language and culture. “We have

appointed a desk officer for Igbo

Language and culture and designed

trainings for Igbo teachers both in

private and public schools,” Omenugha

said, adding that an Igbo science book

“would go a long way to help entrench

the love of the Igbo language and culture

in our people.”

Explaining the rationale behind the book,

Okigbo said the need to improve students’

knowledge and understanding of the Igbo

language around the country was the

driving force. “We don’t have Igbo names

to cover certain concepts in science,”

Okigbo noted.

He further stated that the environment

is made up of plants, animals and

minerals. “What are plants; you say

‘Osisi.’ What are minerals? You say

‘Ngwuputa ala.’ We know osisi has stem

and branches and produces leaves,

flowers and seeds or fruits. But

mushroom is osisi; however, it doesn’t

have green leaves nor does it produce

flowers and fruits. If we think of

anumanu, you have birds that fly and

mammals that suckle their young ones but

plasmodium and bacteria if they are

animals do not have the simple animal

characteristics such as eggs, embryos and

so on,” Okigbo told LEADERSHIP Weekend.

According to him, it took a lot of

creativity and innovation to suggest

solutions and provide answers to these

problems. “I had to divide plants in two

groups – ‘osisi dum’ (all plants) which

includes mushroom; then ‘osisi kpam-

kpam,’ which have green leaves, flowers

and seeds. I did the same with animals so

we have ‘anumanu dum’ and ‘anumanu

kpam-kpam.’ Animals like birds, goats

and sheep are anumanu kpam-kpam but

some of the other micro-organisms are

included in ‘anumanu dum,’” said Okigbo,

a former Deputy Director-General at the

International Institute of Tropical

Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan.