From Mfon Ekefre- Uyo
“Despite the spate of conspiracy and blackmail against the state government on the state of education infrastructure, government will continue to upgrade infrastructural facilities in public schools,” Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, has assured.
Umanah made the remark in reaction to a publication in a national daily to the effect that pupils were sitting on bare floor to receive lessons in one of the community schools in the state.
He disclosed that about 2,500 blocks of classrooms have so far been constructed and rehabilitated in about 1,162 primary schools across the state.
According to him, the intervention of the state government in public schools also include perimeter fencing of the schools in high traffic areas, provision of laboratory equipment, school desks, workshops and supply of teaching aids and materials.
The free education policy of the state government, Umanah said, “is one of the best articulated in the country, and government should not be blackmailed by a skewed presentation of facilities challenge in a few outstanding public schools.
He said a recent picture published in the national daily was not a true reflection of the general situation in the state.
While commenting on the situation at St. Paul’s Primary school, Ikot Ibiok, the commissioner explained that “the intervention of the state government in public schools is a continuous exercise.
He added that already, government had directed the Inter-Ministerial Direct Labour Committee to take inventory of schools in need of rehabilitation and provision of facilities with a view to talking them in the next phase of intervention.
Observing that though primary schools are direct responsibilities of federal governments, through the Universal Basic Education (UBE), he assured that the state government will promptly address the situation in any identified school in line with infrastructural consolidation programme of the state government.
The commissioner noted that some people had been commissioned by political opponents to take pictures of schools awaiting intervention, with the objective of blackmailing the government just to score cheap political points, challenging them to also take photographs of the thousands of school blocks that are in top shape, if they have any modicum of fairness.
Umanah emphasized that the government will remain focused on delivery of campaign promises to the people and will allow the antics of the opposition to distract it.
From Mfon Ekefre- Uyo