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EATECH invests N35m in Akwa Ibom science college laboratories

EATECH invests N35m in Akwa Ibom science college laboratories

Indigenous oil and gas servicing firm, Engineering Automation Technology Limited (EATECH), has pledged to continue to partner with the Akwa Ibom State government in boosting the teaching and learning environment of public schools in the state.

Emmanuel Okon, managing director/chief executive officer at EATECH disclosed this recently during the handover of rehabilitated and equipped Biology and Chemistry laboratories’ block of St. Mary’s Senior Science College (SMASCO) Ediene-Abak in Abak Local Government Area of the state.

Okon said that the investment was part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) as he recalled visiting the two laboratories of the foremost science college in the state and finding them dilapidated, abandoned, and overtaken by weeds and rodents.

He, however, lamented the rot in key infrastructure in public schools across the state, urging the government to partner with private sector investors to boost the quality of infrastructure and manpower in its public schools.

He particularly flayed the situation where science students have to be shuffled through schools without the requisite laboratories for their practical’s to bring them on par with their contemporaries around the world.

“I graduated from the school more than 33 years ago, but during a visit two years ago, I was shocked that the foremost science college that has produced great alumni making waves within and outside the country was without functioning biology and chemistry laboratories.

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Given the role of science and technology in shaping today’s global economy, businesses, and even politics, it is tragic for the present and posterity of this state and indeed the country, to shuffle students through this school without the requisite laboratories for teachers and students to explore, experiment, innovate, make mistakes, learn and grow at the same competitive level as their peers around the world.

This intervention in the most modern laboratories that could be found anywhere in the world cost us about N35million and it is our little contribution, as part of our corporate social responsibility (CSR), in closing this infrastructure gap in this school and creating the right teaching and learning environment for teachers and students,” he said.

Okon tasked the principal and students to make good use of the facilities and ensure proper maintenance.

Idongesit Etiebet, the commissioner for education in the state, thanked the company for the intervention even as she tasked teachers to use the laboratories to bring out the best in students.

The commissioner, who was represented by Roseline Mfon, a quality assurance director in the ministry, said the government should not be allowed as the sole financier of public schools.

She lauded EATECH for the intervention and called on other private sector firms and alumni groups to assist in upgrading facilities in public schools in the state.

“Akwa Ibom State government is ever ready to partner with the private sector in improving the quality of its education sector. We are open, welcoming to anyone who wants to assist us so that those who attend public schools are not seen to be disadvantaged,” she said.