Education

Anambra education sector : the good, the bad , the ugly

Education

By Esindu Jacobs

Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State, has never been loud in his achievements, except on the International Cargo and Passenger Airport project

Many people in the State believe he has done enough in many areas ,especially, when it comes to welfare of workers.

The reason, he has been nicknamed ‘the alert governor ‘

In the education sector, there are the good, the bad and the ugly situations in the State

At the primary section through the Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board ASUBEB, led by Patrick Ugboaja, the State leads while others follow

The bad is the inability of the Post Primary Schools Service Commission to meet it’s obligations in the State

Obligations of providing adequate facilities in some of the schools like Chairs, desks, boards among others

Unlike it’s counter part at the primary level, that has virtually all, there are lack of teaching aids in many secondary schools in the State, while the teachers are not enough, especially, in the rural areas

It was not surprising to The Razor News, when the Commissioner for Basic Education in the State, Prof Kate Omenugha and the Chairperson of PPSSC, Ifeoma Okaro, refused to answer calls for further enquiries

Some teachers who spoke with The Razor News in Ayamelum and Anambra West local government areas and Ochuche, in Ogbaru local government area, said their schools are abandoned

The Razor News, gathered that secondary school teachers sent to those areas desert the places for urban centres like Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi, Ekwulobia, Enugu -Ukwu among others

In some of the schools in those rural areas, one would find a ridiculous number as teaching staff, while non teaching staff is not in existence

Most of the schools are dilapidated, while students take their lessons under the trees and other available open spaces

When Obiano came to power ,he paid the rural teachers 70,000 naira, what was called ‘bush allowance ‘ while the core science teachers in urban centres were being paid 30,000 naira

Though, the PPSSC Chairman and the Commissioner refused to speak, a senior member of the Ministry of education, who pleaded anonymity, said the number of public secondary schools in Anambra is about 261

According to one of the sources, primary school teachers earn more money than their counterparts in the secondary ,who equally, earn more than those in the Ministry

When The Razor News, visited one of the secondary schools in Awka South local government area, it was discovered that four teachers were recruited and being paid by the Parent Teachers Association PTA

A source said, “our learning environment is superb, some individuals in this area are really helping the government in that direction by building some school blocks and our students no longer learn under harsh conditions ”

However, the same thing is not said in primary schools from rural to urban centres in the State

The Razor News, gathered that the number of public primary schools in the State is 1,068, while the total enrolment stands at 461,308 which also includes nursery

The primary section also, has 8,241 serving teachers in the state.

Those who had retired from service stood at 757, while those who died are 105 . No teacher in the primary schools had been sacked, The Razor News learnt

The Razor News, visited about 12 of such primary schools from urban to rural and it was discovered that chairs, desks and the infrastructure are intact

The teachers are always available in those schools visited, compared to the ones in secondary schools who have turned themselves to business people because of lack of attention

After the visits, a call was put across to the Chairman of ASUBEB in the state, Ejike Ugboaja, what was the magic, and he told The Razor News the secret is hard work and dedication to duty

He said ASUBEB wants to re-define the structure of every environment as far as education is concerned, adding that it had been on in the past five years

He described governor Obiano as the ‘Messiah ‘ sent to liberate schools in Anambra ,adding that ASUBEB continues to construct new buildings for the pupils and renovating the dilapidated ones through out the state

According to Ugboaja, “the chairs are intact in every primary school in this State. ASUBEB keeps supplying new books, chairs, desks and additional three seater iron desks etc ”

“Every teacher is comfortable in this state and non has refused to move to the area he or she is posted as you have claimed.

” We want to make sure that no primary teacher grumbles in Anambra State on like some other states ” Ugboaja said

Why has education taken the back stage every year the State government releases it’s budget? The Razor News asked the State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C Don Adinuba, ” we don’t dance to the gallery ”

“If you have a policy and strategy that enable you to have good value for your money, then you don’t have to spend a lot and that is chasing shadows

“We have created a strong private sector and voluntary agencies. These are our secrets to success in education and other sectors ” Adinuba told The Nation

He said there is no policy in government that says education must be the highest in any budget, adding that the Willie Obiano government has a relationship that works with the donors.

“We are the best as far as education is concerned and the sectors are helping us manage our limited resources. Other States should come to Anambra and learn from us “Adinuba said

Ifeizu

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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