THE IMPERATIVE OF SOUND PRIMARY EDUCATION – Marcus Nwose

According to Lawson, “education
makes a people easy to govern but difficult to enslave”. Little wonder Victor
Hugo postulated that “he who opens a school door, closes a prison”. Education
which is a progressive discovery of our ignorance, no doubt, endows the
recipient with knowledge which Napoleon Hill noted, “paves the way to riches
when you know which road to take”.

These definitions have aptly demonstrated that education is a powerful
vehicle for societal development. Unarguably, the fact
still remains that knowledge is power. The question now is how responsive is
our local government system to the primary education needs of our children?
From the evidences available to every man and woman whether literate or not,
there seems to be a looming catastrophe that is imminently waiting to explode
as it is apparent that government has not shown enough commitment to our
children’s education.   

Our schools are in shambles.
Obviously, you cannot give what you do not have and this is the case of our
children and their teachers in schools. The environment has nothing to talk
about and it is so pathetic that things are the way they are right now.

Who is actually in charge of
primary schools? Is it the state or local government councils? I do not want to
mince my words here because this is where our children take their bearings in
life and if they miss this point, the journey may be very rough to the end. So,
the local council should be interested in contributing to the welfare of
primary school teachers for better impartation of knowledge.  

There should be a
comprehensive arrangement by the Local Education Authority (LEA) in
collaboration with the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) on how
seminars could be organized for primary school teachers in order to upgrade
their knowledge. Some of these things do not cost too much money if necessary
steps were taken.

 Recently, I visited some
primary schools in Ika South local government area and I could not believe what
I saw. In fact, I was shocked to see that there were between 60 and 80 pupils
in a class.  when I was driving into one of the school premises, the
impression I had was that they (the pupils) were having some film show
demonstrations in the classroom as very many pupils were seen standing while
others crowded the windows in their classroom.

To my dismay, as I came
into the classroom, I saw that the teacher was actually teaching but
demonstrating what he was teaching the pupils was a problem. The teacher could
not move from one point of the classroom to the other as a result of the large
number of pupils in the class.

This is indeed shameful and
disgraceful. I think we can do better than this as a serious local government
council. The truth of the matter is that, this scenario is not applicable in
some local government areas. Honestly speaking, our children’s future is a
serious business and for us to be seen as being serious, we must partner with
non-governmental agencies.

One of the teachers took
me round and we went to the library of the school which looks like a mad man’s
house. Majority of the classrooms were not plastered and when there is no
ceiling, how can you talk about fan which is seen as a luxury. I can sense some
elements of conspiracy in some quarters. How do we expect a quality service
delivery in this atmosphere? The possibility is very slim unless there is value
addition.

The general hospital or
central hospital,Agbor, which ever nomenclature ascribed to it, does not make
any difference but the truth of the matter is that whether the hospital is
owned by the state or the federal government, the common believe is that the
hospital is built to serve our people and for this single fact, the medical
facility must not be seen as an avenue of intimidating our people.

There are many funny things
happening in that hospital. The Ika South local government council should be
proactive by monitoring the development in the hospital to enable it report to
the appropriate government agency on the ill bedeviling the hospital. The
Doctors, nurses and pharmacists who have taken advantage of our
vulnerabilities, should not hold our people to ransom any more. 

Lack of infrastructural
development in any community or society can cripple the aspiration of the people
in that community or society. There are a lot of lapses in the governance of
our council and it is either as a result of ignorance or compromise as the
council has become one of the local government councils where people compromise
or abandon projects.

We have a lot of abandoned
projects in the local government. If an indigene gets a contract and connives
with government officials to collect his money without executing the contract
awarded to him, what then do you expect a non-indigene to do?

 It does not cost money
to put these people to check. Simple contact can go a long way in checkmating
this ugly incident as everything is not about money because money does not
answer all questions. The council can oversight any job within the local government
area and make reports to the appropriate quarters. The council can do better if
people who have strong passion for service delivery are elected to run the
affairs of our local government council.

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