Analysts and callers on a privately owned radio station in Uyo, Monday, have unanimously raised alarm: Declare state of emergency on public primary and secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State said to be in deplorable conditions to forstall dwindling standard of education.
The alarm came against the background of various publications based on thorough investigations by Premium Times, online newspapers further collaborated by Uyo-based Radar newspapers that the schools were stinking in terms of infrastructural facilities coupled with dearth of committed teachers due to lack of motivation.
Of course, the analysts were not oblivious of the fact that most of the schools were built by the early missionaries only for some of them to be renovated by the administrations of Victor Attah, Godswill Akpabio and Udom Emmanuel through Inter-ministerial Direct Labour Unit under the state Ministry of Finance.
The comments coming from Inspiration Radio, Uyo under newspapers review, one of the analysts drawn from the private sector declared that in some schools located in Uyo and Etinan the roofs of some of the schools had fallen while the children were forced to study under crowded classrooms.
However, another analyst justified that the state government has renovated many secondary and primary schools with some wearing red roofs to demarcate the intervention from other agencies equally engaged intervention work in schools.
One of them disputed that despite the huge monthly financial allocations and yearly budgetary provisions on education, the public schools are in a sorry state, telling the public that for a long time the state government has not built and equipped schools talk less of standard and model ones for Akwa Ibom children.
As a confirmation, a radio caller recalled that during the era of ex-governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi built standard, model schools and equipped them with standard fields, table tennis court, well-equipped laboratories, well-equipped classroom with teaching/learning facilities, basket ball and lawn tennis courts, among others, alleging that no Akwa Ibom government has provided such except putting blocks, plastering, painting the walls and roofing dilapidated schools without equipping them with modern facilities.
Another analyst readily drew the attention of listeners to the fact that most teachers in the public schools send their children and wards to privately owned schools instead of theirs, an action as a minus to the state government’s effort in the implementation of the much-drummed free, compulsory education in the state.
One of the reasons adduced for the stinking of the public schools is attributed to poor motivation of teachers compared to their contemporaries in other professions, which typically were seen in late payment of salaries, dearth of in-service training, non-payment of certain allowances, among others.
A caller from Ibesikpo-Asutan lamented that schools in Ikot Ide, Ikot Essien and Ikot Akpaetok were in deplorable state, thus needing the state government to declare a state of emergency in the education to arrest the rot.
Another analyst decried that in the 70s and 80s the schools were good state such most public office holders were beneficiaries of those schools unlike now that the schools are not fitting for children of the poor and the rich.