• Friday, May 24, 2024
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BusinessDay

Day Fubara wept over decay in 90% of Rivers’ schools, no teachers in 75%

Day Fubara wept over decay in 90% of Rivers’ schools, no teachers in 75%

…’$5m investment from foreign group can’t be spent because schools not in shape to absorb it’

Governor Siminalayi Fubara may not be carrying out verbal attacks on his estranged godfather but unveiling the rot in almost every sector of the state’s economy seems to hit harder home.

Everywhere the governor has gone so far, the tale of woes and rot seem to show that the state was not being governed for a long time, and that annual budgets did not seem to touch any sector after road projects.

The governor even got pissed off on Thursday, April 11, 2024, at Ndoni, and called the roads as something that led to private property.

Now, Governor Fubara has said that the stark reality of having 75 percent of primary schools in the state without teachers and 90 percent of such schools in dilapidated condition is very troubling.

The governor said this when he received a delegation of leaders of Muslim community in the state on Eid-el-Fitr Sallah visit to the Government House, Port Harcourt on Wednesday.

He explained that he became aware of the deplorable state of the primary schools when a firm, New Global, in its bid to partner his administration to enhance the capacity of teachers, performed field assessment of such personnel that they intend to train.

But Fubara said the report from the field was very disappointing because the firm did not find the number of teachers that should be trained, which should have benefitted Rivers’ children tremendously.

The governor emphasised the crucial place that primary school occupies in the educational journey of any child in shaping the character, instilling essential skills, and fostering quest for learning, which, obviously had been ignored in the past.

Fubara, however, assured that his administration, having its focus firmly on Education, Health and Agriculture sectors, would ensure a change in what has been identified.

“It will surprise you to note that an agency came to Rivers State. They call them ‘New Global’, and they were willing to spend $5million. It is not for infrastructure but to train our teachers, to provide software and other things to improve the learning process at the primary level.

“I told them to go round and assess the primary schools in the state. After their assessment, you won’t believe it that 75 percent of our primary schools have no teachers, 90 percent of the schools are dilapidated,” he said.

Governor Fubara further said: “So, how will you now put in the $5million. So, when I said education, I really mean education. It’s not education where we renovate schools, and call people for commissioning.

“We are talking about touching what is important, because, for us to develop as a society, for us to get it right from the foundation, it is at the primary school level.

“If we don’t have that aspect right as a foundation to preparing our youths as the leaders of tomorrow, then, we have lost it,” he added.

The governor also noted that the tertiary health institutions in the state are overstretched because the primary and secondary health facilities are not functional.

He said that in the coming days, the five zonal hospitals would be revisited so that they can become operational to expand healthcare services available to the people.

“The only health facilities that are functional in this state are the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH), and maybe, the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH).

“The other aspects of the healthcare system that should be functioning are the primary and secondary healthcare. We have to do everything that is within our power to make sure that they function.

“Now, you see, there is so much pressure because the primary healthcare centres have a limit of what they can attend to. So, the pressure is always with the tertiary institutions, what you call the teaching hospitals.”

He reassured that: “We have already taken it upon ourselves, by the special grace of God, in the next one or two weeks, we are going to make sure that we revisit the five zonal hospitals in the state to make sure that they function.

“Now, when they function, they will give support to the primary healthcare centres. A lot of people die because of minor illnesses and unavailability of health centres, not well-equipped with qualified personnel. So, we know it is important.

“It might not be something people are seeing, but those are the key things to development and the things that people need, and to prove that, yes, we have a functional government,” he said.

In the agriculture sector, Governor Fubara said there was already so much work ongoing to revamp some agricultural facilities, and make the sector attractive in order to guarantee food sufficiency and create employment for the youths.

He said, “You already know what we are doing and what we are trying to do in the aspect of agriculture. God being on our side, it will work and work well for every one of us.”

On reviving moribund state-owned industries, the governor said: “We know that the only way we can combat crime is providing employment. I don’t think any criminal feels happy when he is enjoying his money. This is because he does so in hiding. He does it with fear.

“When you have a legitimate means of livelihood, even if it’s N10,000 that you are making, you enjoy it happily without fear. I know a lot of people want that.

“We will visit those areas to see what we can get out of it so that employment will be, at least, more for those our unemployed youths who by virtue of having nothing to do, end up resorting to crime as the only way out.”

While acknowledging their feat in successful completion of the Ramadan fasting, Governor Fubara thanked the Muslim community for their prayers and support to his Administration.

Governor Fubara noted with delight their efforts at coordinating, mediating and ensuring a reduction to the minimum incidences of farmers-herders’ clashes in the state.

He assured that his administration would continue to create the enabling environment for them to practise their faith and other endeavours that positively impact on the development of the state while promoting peace.

In his address, the leader of the delegation and Vice President-General, Rivers State Council for Islamic Affairs, Nasir Awhelebe Uhor, thanked Fubara for his financial support that enabled them to participate in Hajj last year, and his inclusive policy that has given the community a sense of belonging.

Uhor, who assured that the Muslim community would not relent in partnering with the governor and his administration, emphasised that they were solidly behind him, and approve of his people-oriented policies and programmes.

He, in strong terms, also condemned activities of those who he said want to truncate the administration with impeachment threats on the governor and persecution of his Chief of Staff, Edison Ehie.