After many years of negligence, the pupils of St. Theresa’s primary school,Okobo, received uncommon support from groups who thought it ludicrous to allow a standard school which under it aegis, elites dead and alive have been produced, to plunge into abeyance.
The school located at Okopedi, Okobo, Akwa-Ibom State,Nigeria, remain the only public school in the Community.
It all started on November 2018 when some individuals which include Peter Piro, Ben Akwa, Ofongal Foundaon, David Antia,e.t.c flooded the media with photos of the pupils receiving lessons while seated on the floor.
This report which was posted on facebook, was share many times for accentuation by angst-ridden individuals who expressed their worries over the abnegation.
The head of the Community where the school is located, His Highness, Chief Francis Ekpeyong immediately called for action, advising that the news should not be used for political fight but rather serve as information to keep community stakeholders, élites and concerned individuals abreast of what is happening.
Just after two months from the time of the report the following groups have responded to the needs of the pupils;
Okopedi Youth Council(OYC)
The above association under the aegis of Ekpeyong Ekpeyong, and her executives in a project sponsored by Alfred Ekpeyoung have donated 50 new and well-furnished desk to the pupils.
During the inauguration, which took place at 9:0am today, the president who appeared with a bleary-eye seem to have been so worried about the pupils.
He announced that the association will continue to work with patriotic citizens to bring good leadership to the people.
Alfred Ekpeyoung speaking on the occasion re-assured the community of his commitment to bringing good projects to the community
‘ Education is the right of every child and in a community like ours we know that the most important thing we can give this innocent children is a free and quality education, which is what we are driving toward’
The above statement was made by him when he charged the community stakeholders to be more aware of the needs of the children, women and the youths.
keep on with her intervention project for the good of the community.
Local Government Council
The local Government Council headed by Hon.Ubou Ubuo on receiving the report of the school situation also acceded to the demands of the teachers and the pupils.
The council donated 25 new desk to the school.
The pupils and the teachers were very happy to receive this level of support from the local government council.
From interviews with teachers and the physical inspection of the school by David Antia(www.rayofthought.com), Peter Piro and Ofongal Fondaon, the school has over 500 thousand pupils and the already provided desk is not enough .
The following is the excerpt of our interview with the teachers in during previous visit to the school
‘I am not from here, I came to this school in 2014.I saw the deplorable condition and decided to write letters to the Local government chairman, Traditional council, NDDC and SUBEB. They never responded. This is child abuse and the greatest of its kind. I don’t even know if parents are aware of the condition under which their children receive lessons. Last week a child in the class I teach menstruated while sitting on the floor, I felt very embarrassed and sent other children out of the class while I asked that girl to arrange herself and go home.A class of Primary 6 contain pupils who are near 12 years or even more,and when such things happens, the pupils who are very curious may begin to ask question.’
— A Teacher
‘My people, I am from Okobo , I have taught in this school for many years and many government individuals have come to us like you do now . They promise these children desk but we never see one. The few lockers you see there is brought here by children whose parent could afford that…..
‘Please if you people can give these children desk, please do, we will appreciate . we are not happy teaching this children in this condition’
—- A Teacher
‘You see, that thing call free education is like witchcraft hunting us, we have been in this condition for more than 20 years. These pupils are my children and I am not happy teaching them like this’ — A female Teacher…
These are the dilapidated classroom blocks
Call for intervention
The rehabilitation of this this school is very necessary for the development of people living in the area.
From findings, over 80 percent of the total population (from 1945-1998) of the area obtained their primary education there and presently over 5O percent of the total number of children in the community school there.
We call on Government, Non-governmental Organizations and private individuals to undertake projects in the school for poverty eradication and child literacy.