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The problem of insecurity in public schools in Delta State is threatening to destroy efforts by the government to provide infrastructures in the schools, even as the return of 40 schools back to the Missionaries has created some problems for the state government.
Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education in the state, Mr. Chiedu Ebie who announced the problems this morning, Monday, 15/4/2018, while taking his turn at the on-going Ministerial Press Briefing hosted by the Ministry of Information in its Conference Hall, Asaba, disclosed that the activities of thieves who broke into the school premises, carting away valuable goods and infrastructure including chairs, tables and other items is constituting a huge concern to the state government.
However, the Commissioner failed to disclose what lasting measure his Ministry has put in place to check the continued theft of items in schools by thieves.
He merely pleaded with journalist to help in pass the information of the need to check the activities of hoodlums’ invasion of schools to members of the public.
He failed to inform about the measures his Ministry has put in place to ensure a permanent check to the activities of hoodlums despoiling the school, that observers believe should include the establishment of a department of security to oversea security in state owned schools to protect and safe guard school properties.
And on the problems created by the handing over of schools to the Missionaries, Mr. Ebie disclosed that when the schools were handed back, there was mass exodus of students from the Missionary schools because of the payment of school fees in the schools as opposed to the public schools that are free of payment by students.
“There is thus, an urgent need for us to establish schools. But the problem the state government is having is that of space to build the schools. No land,” Ebie said, pointing out that the situation has given rise to over population of schools. “Yes, there is need to set up more public schools, but we are also considering the financial implications involved in setting the schools,” he hinted.
In another development, the Basic and Secondary Education Ministry Commissioner lamented the unbecoming and irresponsible attitude displayed by some miscreants in Okpanam, who tormented and chased away the Reverend Sisters who came to do humanitarian teaching work at the St. Matthew Catholic Church Madona School for the handicapped.
He said: “Miscreants drove out teachers and Reverend Sisters who came to carry out humanitarian work in the school. The miscreants, who double as land speculators came to poach and sold part of the land belonging to the school, came back again, and when challenged, the resorted to violent attacks threatening the teachers with physical attacks. When the matter became unbearable the Sisters and teachers packed out, left the school and returned to Port Harcourt. where they came from.”
Mr. Ebie disclosed however, that the state government stepped in and invited the police, which is now providing security covering at the school.
The Commissioner also announced that in the exercise of its zero tolerance for sub-standard and poorly executed school projects in the, especially non-adherence to the Bill of Quantities (BOQs), the state government has issued a stop work order to some contractor handling such projects in some schools.
Answering a reporter’s question, he said government would not pay such contractors, even as he disclosed also that the Delta state Government has sanctioned some staff who recommended payment approvals for the poor work done by the contractors that resulted in the collapse of part of a school building wall at the West End secondary school, Asaba.