Legislators demands more public schools
ANAMBRA State House of Assembly has passed a resolution calling on Governor Willie Obiano to direct the Commissioner for Basic Education, Dr. Kate Omenugha, to take necessary steps toward the establishment of additional government owned schools in certain strategic areas within the state.
The resolution followed a motion sponsored by the Member, representing Oyi Constituency in the House, Charles Obimma, together with 15 other legislators, including the Chief Whip, Lawrence Ezeudu (Dunukofia), Emeka Aforka (Orumba North) and Onyebuchi Offor (Ekwusigo), the Minority Leader of the House.
Obimma while moving the motion drew the attention of the House to the fact that “ensuring equitable quality education and promoting life-long learning opportunities for all is the 4th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) earmarked by the United Nations to be attained by its member nations by the year 2030.”
The law-maker further rued about the “paucity of government owned schools in the state” due to fast rising development and expansion of several residential estates as a result of population explosion with inadequate provision made for public schools by the town planning authorities.
According to Obimma, large number of the indigenes and residents of the state living in the areas where there are no public schools, now suffer at the mercy of private schools’ proprietors whose services are generally exorbitant and unaffordable by the common man in the state.
Citing the provision of Section 18(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which stipulates that government should direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate educational opportunities at all levels, Obimma urged the legislators to support the bill in order to reverse the prevailing trend.
He expressed optimism that setting up additional government owned schools would facilitate easy access to quality and affordable education to all, thereby waging a massive war against illiteracy as well as create numerous and indirect jobs for the teeming unemployed youths.
Apart from the enhancement of educational standard and general aptitude of the pupils, Obimma submitted that public schools usually had adequate recreational facilities for sporting activities by the children which help to discover and nurture budding talents to win laurels for the state in future, while private schools, some of which operated in rented houses and uncompleted buildings, lacked such essentialities for sound upbringing of the leaders of tomorrow.
Contributing to the debate in support of the motion, Ejike Okechukwu ((Anaocha) described the motion as very apt and maintained that there was pressing need to establish more government schools to ameliorate the sufferings of parents in patronising private institutions at cut throat costs, in view of the prevailing economic hardship in the country.
Deputy Speaker of the House, Dr Pascal Agbodike, who presided over the plenary, also noted that the rate people patronise ill-equipped private schools had assumed an alarming proportion before putting the matter on voice vote unanimously passed by the assembly.