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Rescuing Abia schools through FASAI

Mgboko Amairi Community Secondary School was founded in 1982. The institution has produced prominent personalities in virtually all fields of human endeavour. This school that lay the proverbial” golden eggs” is a shadow of it old self: the staff rooms are leaking; the class room blocks are dilapidate; there are no seats for the students to seat.
The school share similar ugly narratives with some public schools in Abia. But relief came its way last week when the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Godwin Adindu donated 50 desks to the school, courtesy of Friends of Abia School Adoption Initiative (FASAI). In addition to that, Adindu also adopted 36 students on scholarship, out of which 16 come from Mgboko Amairi Community Secondary School.
Adindu in his address noted out that he was moved by pity noticing some of the students of the school standing while taking their lessons in one of his visits to the school. “The story is pathetic. I was inspired to engage in this intervention the day I drove into this school and noticed that some students were standing while taking their lessons. I know some compounds in this community where nobody has attended secondary school. In addition to what I have already done, I’m striving to make sure that those families would have at least one person who will attend secondary school,” Adindu said.
The ceremony marked a turning point for the institution and a couple of months it would be singing a new song.  The Commissioner for Education, Prof. Ikechi Mgboji, through the intervention of his ministry promised to renovate one of the classroom blocks. Adindu also promised to renovate one of the blocks.
There is serious commitment on the part of Abia State Government to rehabilitate the schools. Within the past six months, over 10 schools have been rehabilitated. Also boreholes have been sunk in some schools to forestall pupils being knocked down while in search of drinking water across the roads. The state is also collating data on the needs of the schools.
To bridge the gap of infrastructural development in the public schools, Ikpeazu’s administration has established centres where blocks are moulded for schools renovation and desks are built for the pupils.
It will be recalled that the infrastructural decay in the public schools compelled the state government to put on hold its proposed “Free School Meal”. Plans are underway to collaborate with the Ministry of Education, Australia to mount a Teachers’ Training Institution that can train and retrain Abia teachers.
Adindu’s gesture is worthy of emulation by well- meaning Abians . Though Mgboko Amairi Community Secondary School is not his alma mater, he had the heart such a wonderful gesture to the school.
There is a strong appeal to other well- meaning Abians to give back to the society that moulded them by keying into FASAI. The initiative is private- sector driven and is aimed at involving well- meaning individuals within and outside the state to give back to the communities, especially the schools that raised them.
The initiative basically targets the worst schools in each of the local councils. After the identification of these schools, they will be given a facelift with the hope that when the worst of these schools are upgraded, the effect on the entire primary school system will be enormous.
The project aims at both turning around the worst schools across the state and to give hope to pupils from poor schools.
Like Prof. Mgboji argued that is nowhere in the world government funds schools totally, in the work of E.D. Nakpodia” Techniques for improving private sector participation in the funding of educational institutions in Delta State, Nigeria”,
It is posited that “private sector should act as catalyst in complementing the efforts of government in terms of funding to ensure a qualitative and quantitative education for all.
The work further argued that government as the major source of fund for financing education has over the years failed to live up to its responsibility of sufficiently funding education, adding that the need has risen for the private sectors and philanthropic organisations that may be interested in education to assist in equipment, books and capital projects for the educational institutions. learnThere is no doubt, that the private sector could give the nation’s educational sector a face lift, by providing the right infrastructure and environment conducive enough for learning as governments cannot alone solve the seemingly intractable problem facing the education sector”.
I appeal to Abians to reflect on the arguments raised in E.D. Nakpodia’s work and rescue Abia public schools by keying into Ikpeazu’s FASAI.
Ukegbu is the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Gov. Ikpeazu on media.

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