The Akwa Ibom State Universal Basic Education, SUBEB, has condemned the level of infrastructural vandalism in public primary schools in the state.
A board member of SUBEB, Sir John Udoh, who spoke with journalists in Uyo at his office over the weekend, called on members of the communities where the schools are sited to own the properties and avoid theft and destruction of those facilities.
Udoh lamented that various schools visited during inspection showed how hoodlums invaded the schools and removed the roofs of the classrooms and the pupils’ desks.
He noted that UBE school at Itam, Uyo was attached and the Water Cistern, wash hand basins, overhead tank etc were all removed.
Udoh wondered why some people would vandalize property in their locality meant to be beneficial to everyone saying that such an act drags the government behind.
He, therefore, called on community leaders and youths to protect those facilities for the benefit of their people.
According to him, “There is too much vandalism in our schools. The public should protect government properties within their domain.
“It is disheartening that the government will provide toilet facilities and human beings will destroy it. For instance the primary school in Itam, UBE school. The hoodlums removed the overhead tank. They drove a pickup car to the place and removed the overhead tank in broad daylight.
“The question is, who will suffer from it? What is wrong with the village, was this thing was built in ONNA, they just did it to spite the governor, it was built in Itam. When I went to UBE primary school for inspection, we discovered that they had removed everything, the WCs, the wash hand basins, and the seats. This is a recurring thing in so many schools in the state.
“Some places we have gone to, human beings will wake up in the night and remove roofs and a school in Obio Imo, some people removed the roofs. Though the government has gone ahead to build perimeter fencing and provide dual carriage desks, at the end of the day they will break into the place that was locked and take the chairs and desks and other items.
“The rate of abuse of government property is alarming. There are some local government areas we visited for inspection, we discovered that they have removed the pumps that supply water to the school.”
Describing the act as sabotage to government efforts, Udoh said people assume that government is not providing infrastructure and asked why pupils sit on the floor to learn
explaining that seats provided were vandalized and it takes a little time for new ones to be produced.
“People will say the government is not providing infrastructure , why are our children sitting on the floor? They forgot that these desks are not made and kept somewhere, I’m talking as a person in charge of school services. It takes a little while for the person constructing the desk to finish.
“I appeal to the public to desist from the act, to the different communities and village heads to assist the government to protect these properties for they are their own,” he added.
The board member disclosed that the state government has built over 100 modern classroom blocks with magnetic boards, drilled portable boreholes, constructed perimeter fencing and had given the schools across the state a facelift adding that these were possible through counterpart funding with the federal government.
“Many states refused to harness the facility of counterpart funding but governor Udom Emmanuel does that, that is the funds we are using to do all those things, providing those infrastructure, we are building boreholes in our schools, that is because we want to stop our children from running to the road to get water and the borehole is treated, many schools we built newly across the state have magnet board,” Udoh revealed.