By Ezeagu Thomas
The popular belief that government property is no man’s property is currently playing out at its peak in Uzo-Uwani Secondary School, once the best in the entire local government.
The school has been neglected and overlooked to smoulder into ruins. Both the facilities and the academic performance of the school has been rendered useless through the lackadaisical and lacklustre attitude of the teachers and students.
The ruin is a general one. The teachers come to school when they deem fit, knowing fully well that regularity and punctuality are obligations they must submit to. They avoid classes as though the students are suffering from leprosy. Students afterwards turn out to be below par in their academic performance.
No wonder it was so glaring as they performed abysmally in a recently conducted NNPC Scholarship Examination. The irony, however, was that Uzo-Uwani Secondary School, the centre of the examination, was nowhere above the belt. It was a huge disgrace and a slap to my face.
This recent drastic decline is responsible for the patronage private school enjoy within the locality. There are no permanent Physics and Chemistry teachers. One of the science students who sat for the scholarship examination, came out of the exam hall lamenting over his inability to attempt neither subjects. The situation is so critical that urgent overhauling and retrenchment of none performing staff of the school as their presence is endangering the future of these students.
Consequent upon the habitual abstinence and unabated lateness of the teachers, students on the other hand, now go to school whenever they want. Lateness is now the norm. At some point early this year, the Mayor of Ogboli Development Centre paid an unannounced visit to the school and to his chagrin, teachers and students yet to arrive at school were over 50 per cent.
He expressed strong displeasure at such a carefree attitude towards the academic activities of the school. He then took stock of the situation and made a report against them. But, even at that, there was no improvement on either side.
Aside from the behaviour of the teachers and the students towards schooling, the basic building infrastructure has all degenerated into rubbles. For instance, the science laboratory. Due to the indifferent dispositions exhibited by the school authority, the basic science equipment has all been made away with by unknown persons.
The vice principal once alleged that the property was stolen by herdsmen, but such a claim is to be taken with a grain of salt. There are no measures put in place to protect this equipment from possible theft. Every building of the school is all in bad shapes. While some of them have collapsed others are smouldering to ruins and rubbles. The pictures herein are pictures of the laboratory and other buildings that have been left to its fate.
Finally, it is worthy to mention that the state of these facilities poses a high level of danger towards the lives of the students. Their academic performance would be badly marred so that all the time and money invested in sending students to the school becomes a waste.
For this reason, the attention of the state government is drawn to this decay in academics, especially in Uzo-Uwani.