I am no longer asking why the once enviable educational standard of Imo state is perennially dwindling in an alarming rate. I have seen the reason.
It is sad and very unfortunate!
As the academic year has begun after the Xmas celebration, I had a need to register a girl that has come to stay with my mother for little domestic cores. Having been recently relocated to my village from Port Harcourt, where my parents were staying, it becomes necessary that the girl attend the primary school in my village, where we all had our Initial primary education with excellently brilliant performances.
As a lover of knowledge, and strong believer of meritorious educational excellence, I decided to take th e girl to school for registration. The stark realities on ground was not only pitiably but also painful.
After the necessary enquiry I had gone for, the Headmistress, hearing I had started my educational journey from the presently structurally ravaged primary school, gave a methodical narration of the teething problems of the school.
One, the primary school as many others in the state is grossly short staffed. Some classes are without teachers even as you read this factual piece. This is a state in which the rate of unemployment has outrageously increased to a devastating height. Because, the government is overtly insensitive to the plight of the schools, and the welfare of the pupils, the Headmistress had to invite the parents to help with the provision of some local teachers, who are being paid from the financial contributions of the poor village dwellers.
Under this palliative arrangement, a teacher is paid as low as Five thousand naira per month. What a sad development! How unfortunate!
This is not the end of her terribly ear-blocking information. Some of the old teachers they have could go to the state government to bribe their way out of the village to any city or place of their choice against statutory academic arrangement. All they need do is to pay the amount as demanded by the government officials.
Under this obnoxious procedure, the schools and the Head teachers in the rural areas are left totally defenseless and miserable; leading to innocent pupils staying in the classes without learning.
Again, and most astonishing is the revelation that serious punishment awaits any school authority that complains or make this ugly situations in our public primary schools known to the general public. This is dictatorship of the highest order.
All these are happening in Imo state, where Gov Rochas prides himself as the pioneer of free education in the East of the Niger. Let it be made clear that I am not writing this to reduce the electoral clout of Gov Rochas for any political reason as many myopic people may adduce. Rather, I am doing my work as a man in the pen profession.
Furthermore, it is societally damaging to see everything from the eyes of politics. Politicians must come to the knowledge that the central essence of politics is the patriotic use of political power to build a better and prosperous society through the provision of sound and qualitative education.
It is possible that Gov Rochas may not be aware of the extortive and criminal conducts of his education administrators, and the unbearable sufferings of the rural teachers and their defenceless pupils.
This is why it becomes imperative for men of the pen profession to ensure fearless exposure of evil and criminality in Imo state.
The state government should endeavour to maintain a reliable searchlight that can beam into all nooks and crannies of the state to unravel all hidden political, economic, educational and sociocultural atrocities committed by senior government officials.
What I saw and heard is the reason for the poor academic performances of our students and pupils in recent times.
We are duty bound to raise our voices high in condemnation of this abominable development in our primary schools.