A former banker and convener of The Extra Steps Initiative (TESI), Eugene Abels, has called on Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, to review the standards of public primary and secondary schools in the state.
He said although the efforts of the state government to review the standards of private schools in the state, there is the need to extend such exercise to government-owned schools in the state.
Abels, who spoke in Port Harcourt, expressed regrets that the standard of public schools in the state have fallen in the last 30 years.
He said: Your Excellency, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, I watched you during the thanksgiving by the Anglican Communion where you reiterated your position to conduct a review of the activities of private schools. I suspect that is meant to set a standard and that is a recommendable effort.
“But, I wish to remind you that you and I are products of the public school system; the more the names are changed, model, community, government are added to it, you find out that daily, the standard of education in public schools have diminished.
“If you remember in the past while we were in school, even though we didn’t attend the same school, private schools were only meant for house-helps, servants and people who do odd jobs for people. They went to that kind of schools. It didn’t matter if your parents were rich or poor, we all went to public schools.
“But what has happened? Standard has dropped. Have we built more schools? Yes. So, why are they not functioning? Lack of supervision, lack of standards, lack of sanction.
“This situation has worsened further when over 30 years now, education and employment of teachers have been used for political patronage. A teacher is supposed to be a trainer who trains others who will manage the society, who will excel in society. But when it is done on political patronage, we expect that things will drop.
“As we speak, I did a survey between 2008 and 2009 about the schools we attended, and the situation was very dare and sad. Your predecessor attempt to address some of these things, so he started some model schools and new primary schools but the fundamental of management of the schools by the ministry was not done. So, we are back to square one.
“Today, you drive around, there is not sustainability, the schools are in a state of dispair. That is why you can go to Rumuomasi, a school established in 2017 has 640 students in five classes without toilets. Your Excellency, for government to review others, those under government must be reviewed and standards must be set.”
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