Seat relief arrives Secondary Grammar School Ibeno after investigation exposes dearth of desks

By Ekemini Simon

One hundred and thirty dual carriage desks have so far been donated to Secondary Grammar School, Upenekang, in Ibeno local government area about a month after TheMail’s Investigation.

The investigation, which can be read here, highlighted the challenges faced by students, which include the dearth of desks.

The latest donation is from a non-governmental organisation, Innocent Udoidioing Foundation which on Tuesday October 11, 2022 presented 30 dual carriage desks to the school.

The principal of the school, Emmanuel Akpan has confirmed that the school has also received 100 dual carriage desks from the former House of Assembly Member of the area, Okpolump Etteh.

Akpan said the gift of the seats by the former lawmaker is coming with the immediate renovation of a four-classroom block.

The donations came after TheMail’s Investigative report in mid-September 2022. The newspaper had reported how most students of the school sit on bare floors during classes and examinations.

Students seated on donated seats by the Foundation.

TheMail, which visited the school in July 2022, had reported that it was observed that due to the high population density of the school, students who sat on the ground to write examinations overflowed from the classroom to the veranda.

The report showed that although the government of Akwa Ibom State budgeted a total of N510.7 million within the eight years of the current administration to provide seats in Akwa Ibom public schools, release of the funds have been controversial hence causing dearth of seats in public schools.

While expressing gratitude to TheMail Newspaper over the impact the report has generated, the principal of the school, Emmanuel Akpan said the students have experienced great relief due to the number of seats donated after their situation went public through the report.

” Since you came, saw the situation yourself and were moved to report, I want to say that we have had several interventions. After the report, Okpolump Etteh gave us 100 dual carriage desks and undertook the renovation of a classroom block.

Classroom block renovated by Okpolupm Etteh.

“If you saw our problems and kept quiet, we would not have come this far. May God bless you. No hindrances shall come your way.”

The School Principal expressed appreciation to Policy Alert for supporting the investigation urging the organisation to keep up the work thus drawing the government’s attention where there is need.

School Principal, Emmanuel Akpan.

Akpan equally thanked the foundation for the donation stressing that it has put smiles on the faces of the students.

Earlier at the presentation on Tuesday, the Executive Director of Policy Alert, Tijah Bolton-Akpan commended Innocent Udoidioing Foundation for the intervention.

Represented by the Program Officer of Policy Alert, Dinah David, the Executive Director of Policy Alert charged the government to live up to their responsibility of providing quality education to the people.

He said ” One of the strategies we use to effect positive change is to support investigative Journalism so that the attention of the government may be drawn to noticeable gaps.






     

     

    “We thank the foundation for this donation. But how many desks will these organisations or individuals be able to donate? What this organization is doing is just to support. Many schools without seats are littering the State. Yet, It is not the responsibility of the foundation to make social services functional in the community. It is the responsibility of the government.”

    Policy Alert called on the government to be reminded that they have a social contract with the people to give quality education.

    While stressing that the state of basic education in Akwa Ibom State is very poor, the organisation called on the Akwa Ibom State Government to declay a state of emergency in basic education.

    Read the original here

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