Abia State government has handed back a total of 100 primary schools to their original owners to enhance qualitative education under the first phase of the programme.
Of the number, the Catholic Church has 25 schools, Anglican Church 26, Methodist Church 16 and Qua Iboe Church 12 schools.
The Seventh Day Adventist Church has 8 schools, Presbyterian Church 6, Assemblies of God Church 4 schools and Apostolic Church 2.
Handing over the schools at the Michael Okpara Auditorium, Governor Theodore Orji said that he is the only Abia Governor that initiated the handover of government appropriated schools to their original owners after more than four decades.
He stated that his administration in pursuit of equity, justice and fairness started the process of returning secondary schools, pointing out that there has been a remarkable impact made on secondary schools already returned to their owners.
Governor Orji stated that the education system is better off with the new policy in achieving a high quality of education in Abia State.
He said that government considers education of youths the prerequisite for peace, security and economic development of the state and pledged to partner the stakeholders in providing the enabling environment and sound educational policies and infrastructure that advance quality education.
According to him, religious bodies and private agencies will help in improving performance of students and pupils as evident in recent results released by the national examinations in favour of Abia students and pupils as well as public competitions.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Education, Dr. Monica Philips who said the return of the primary schools will further reposition the education sector added that the handover of the schools is in phases and disclosed that the aim is to mould the character of pupils to become useful citizens in future.
She urged the beneficiaries to liaise with the Ministry of Education to keep abreast with the global challenges in the sector.