The immediate intervention of the Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade, is required to salvage the people of Apiapumtet, in Obubra Local Government Area of the state from the agonizing condition due to the deplorable state of the St. Bernard’s Primary School, Apiapumtet.
The school is one of the public schools that require the attention of the state government. This is coming at a time when the governor has been accused of not paying so much attention to infrastructure.
Only last week, the governor undertook a tour of France, taking along with him some commissioners and the 18 local government chairmen of the state. Some house of assembly members who were also expected to be on the trip were however left stranded in Abuja.
The cost of that trip on the state government is yet to be ascertained. But the governor has come under attack for choosing to embark on what has now been termed a jamboree, using public funds, when the state is in dire need of funds for development projects.
A few days ago, the organised labour in the state had to embark on an industrial action to compel the governor to address certain issues of welfare affecting them. The Apiapumte school is just one of the many development projects that the government has failed to address.
Natives, residents and alumni of the school have continued to send a ‘save our soul messages to the government, appealing that the school be fixed to enable students learn in a more conducive environment.
TNN gathered that the current sorry state of the school has forced students to learn under makeshift structures and trees in the school premises. Grasses have taken over the classroom buildings, roofs totally off, no window or chairs. People have queried the kind of future students in such terrible learning condition will have.
Speaking with TNN in an interview, an alumni of St. Bernard’s Primary School, Apiapumtet, who is also an indigene of the place, Mr. Awah, Esop Ben said, “I am from Apiapumtet in Obubra Local Government area of Cross River State. I schooled there in that primary school early 90s.
“It’s so appalling that the school that has produced so many distinguished personalities in Cross River State, including the SA to the governor on education will be left in that sorry state. So it is my burning heart desire to see that school uplifted, to see that government will do something about it.
“As I speak with you, the children there are learning under makeshift environment, under trees and I mean it’s appalling seeing them learning in such environment. Yes, the school is in session as we speak
“My appeal is simple, let something be done to that school, let the children learn under a conducive environment, that’s just my appeal, they should put that school together and let the children learn under a conducive environment.
“For crying out loud, these children are our future leaders, they should give them a better place for them to learn, that’s my humble appeal.”
When TNN reached the governor’s SA on education, Mr. Castro Ezama, who is also an indigene of the area, he asked to be called back in 20 minutes.
TNN called Ezama as requested but he did not pick and did not return the call.
Photo Credit: Awah, Esop Ben