A former director of the World Health Organisation, African Programme for Onchocerciases Control (WHO-APOC) and founder, the Pan-African Community Initiative on Education and Health (PACIEH), Prof. Uche Amazigo, has described the conditions of infrastructures in primary schools in Enugu State as appalling, calling on the government to address the situation.
PACIEH is a non-profit organisation founded in 2013 to offer free meal programme and healthcare to children in primary schools in rural communities in Enugu and Anambra states, “although, it intends to reach out to the rest of primary schools in the entire South-east Zone in future,” said Amazigo, who is also a former lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Speaking in an interview with our correspondent in Enugu, Amazigo said: “You go to a classroom in the rural schools, children are still sitting on blocks, cement blocks, some children are sitting on the floor and the floors are all broken:”
She added that the most painful aspect of the problems was that even when the government gave money to contractors to renovate the schools, they ended up doing very shabby jobs, insisting that it was high time the governments improved on the state of infrastructures.
She said the findings of her organisation after its research on Community Nursery and Primary School, Oma-Eke, and Central Nursery and Primary school, Eke, in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State, were nothing to write home about until PACIEH alongside other partners swung into action by implementing the free meal programme and building toilet facilities and water boreholes for schools.
But reacting to the development, the Chairman, Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (ENSUBEB), Nneka Onuorah, said: “Yes. I’ve been to this school (Community Nursery and Primary School, Oma-Eke, and Central Nursery and Primary school, Eke in Udi LGA) a few times and the school is not in good condition. We have other schools that are similar to this school and we are working on intervening in all other schools but it will take some time. We do it year-by-year, according to what we have in our pocket. So this school is due for renovation. Hopefully, the renovation will be done before the end of the year.”
Amazigo bemoaned the low number and poor quality of teachers as serious problems that needed to be tackled urgently in the primary school sector, emphasising that any responsive and responsible government must invest in education because “illiteracy is the worst thing you can do to your own people while education is the best gift you can give to any child.” (Daily Trust)