Students, Teachers Flee Over Near Collapse School Buildings In Delta
Students and Teachers of Umegbali Primary School founded in 1937 in Okpanam community, near Asaba, Delta State have abandoned classrooms following the near collapse of the school buildings.
Investigation revealed that over three of the school buildings purportedly renovated by previous administrations, currently portent death traps for the students/teachers who have fled the classrooms to under various trees at the premises for fear of the unknown.
It was gathered that previous administrations had awarded the renovation of the school contract to an indigenous firm (name withheld) in the state after the contractor (name withheld) was allegedly mobilized with the sum of N10.5m only to have disappeared with the money after carrying out poor jobs.
Since then, further investigation revealed, the school had been abandoned with chairs, desks, and several of the buildings currently near collapse.
But in a swift reaction, the State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Barr. Chiedu Ebie who confirmed the near collapse of many of the school buildings, said the state government was on top of the findings to ensure the contracting firm who did the poor job is brought to book.
He said: “Government is aware of the predicaments of the students of Umegbali Primary School, but we are investigating the contracting firm for the poor job carried out to jeopardize the lives of the students, we ensure the students are save with good learning condition soon”.
One of the senior teachers of the school, Mrs. Uchist Ifeanyi who spoke to our reporter said: “we are only appealing to the statement to come to our aid, we are under serious risk of our buildings near collapse, we now study and teach under tress, when the rains come where are we going to stay?, We need help because the contractor did a poor job and we are suffering now”.
It was further learnt that efforts by the community concern elders to ensure government’s attention to the situation, proved abortive for paucity of funds.
But the Basic and Secondary Education Commissioner speaking further said: “we could not respond to the need of the people because of paucity of funds, we are very much worried about the poor job executed by the contracting firm, and will ensure the firm is brought to book”
An Elder state man in the community, Chief Patrick Ndukwe told our reporter that the Primary School since founded in 1937, had great men/women who passed through, saying that it will be out place to allow it destroyed for poor job executed.
“We are appealing to the state government to come to our aid and help us renovate the building for the learning of our children”.
Meanwhile, the headmistress, Akuarajor Nursery and Primary School, Koko, Mrs. Grace Bamgbose, has appealed to the relevant authorities to facilitate the completion of the staff quarters project; a state owned project that is ongoing in the school premises to drastically reduce staff burden.
While feeding questions from journalists on the level of compliance of staff and pupils to school on January 9 resumption as announced for government owned schools in the state, stated that the level at which the project is very habitable for her staff.
She queried the contractor’s inability to communicate with the Local Government Education Secretary on the situation of things, who she said promised to hand over the keys of the quarters to her, lamenting the travails some staff, especially corps members posted to the school face in seeking for accommodation in the area, stressing that the present recession has made it worse and most of the corps members seek redeployment as alternatives.
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