Public Primary Schools in Cross River State in deplorable state
Public Primary Schools in Cross River State are in a deplorable state. The State Government, our investigations revealed has not done much to alleviate the suffering of the pupils as some of them are exposed to disaster as the roofs of their classrooms continue to collapse, sometimes on them.For instance, at the Saint Mary Primary School Efut Abua, in Calabar South Local Government Area of the State, virtually all the buildings there are in sorry state. An aged man who gave his name as Chief Daniel Ebong lamented, “This is one of the Government’s owned Public Primary Schools that I can’t believe could deteriorate to this level.”
He said, he had his JAMB in the school and during the immediate past administration led by Senator Liyel Imoke and that of Mr Donald Duke, the public schools were not as bad as thy are now, as there were massive renovations and shortly after, nothing of such took place.
“I wrote my JAMB here. It is regrettable to see that it is in this very sorry state. During the immediate past administration led by Senator Liyel Imoke and that of Mr Donald Duke, it was not as bad as this; there were renovation here and there. People were proud and happy to see their alma meter wearing new look but today, the roof are scattered, cracked walls, no toilet etc, so many thing gone wrong”.
Disappointingly, he said, “More saddening is the prospect that Government officials on inspection to private schools will threaten hailstorm and closure of private school but none is as bad as government owned public schools. This is a Government that claimed to be after standard. I don’t know where to categorise this type of standard belong.”
“I don’t know whether the State House of Assembly oversight function has not included Government owned schools?” he lamented. Consequently, he further said, “Maybe, just maybe, the reason Cross Riverians still point back at Former leader, Sen. Liyel Imoke for using his position judiciously to rehabilitate schools in the state from North to South was because he was not an academician like our current leaders”
”More frustrating, is that most of these schools were the ones the so called politicians graduated from, including the councillors who are the grassroots leaders. So, why can’t they put them back on track and possibly add more value to it. Instead, they send their children and acquaintances abroad. I wonder if the government abroad do the same by neglecting their schools that is now seen in the eyes of people as the best of the best.”
When contacted on phone on Tuesday, the Chairman of State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, Dr Stephen Odey said, “We are trying, it is all based on fund, once we assess our matching grants, we will do the intervention, we have done the assessment of some of the schools, subject to availability of funds”
He said Governor Ben Ayade has tried in releasing matching grant and that when the matching for 2017 is released, the Board will do more.
He said, “when the Universal Basic Education Commission gives us money the Federal Government appropriated to us and the state government releases its counterpart fund, the Board will fund some of these projects,” he said.