From Andy Esiet, Calabar
A United Kingdom (UK) based Calabar indigenes of Cross River state have decried the poor standard of education in Nigeria as they come with intervention.
Speaking in Calabar at weekend during the presentation of books, bags and other educational materials worth millions of Naira to the children, students and teachers of Anantigha Primary school and Government Secondary School, Anantigha, the President of the Calabar Forum, United Kingdom , Mr. Mkpang Cocobassey said the situation of children schools is too poor hence the presentation as “a way of helping the government to bring sustainable development in the academic sector”.
He said, “the standard of education in Nigeria is appalling. I know the government is trying their best but I believe if we join hands together, that is the only way we can make the educational sector become more effective the way it should be.
“Poverty is a big and negative effect. Like you mentioned to me, paying N 2000 as school fees or N13, 000 as examination fees is a challenge, so the economic situation is also affecting. But I believe that irrespective of all these challenges, if we come together and charge these students the way I have actually spoken to them, they will go back with a message that irrespective that things are not the way it should be, they should believe in themselves and study hard”.
He stated that the forum started a scheme last year in which 600 materials including school bags, books, pens and pencils were given to Bishop King primary school, Convent Primary school and Emmanuel Primary school and “as part of our educational empowerment scheme, we are also giving to Government primary school and Government Secondary, Anantigha.
Cocobassey who is an engineer by profession said, the forum “is a non-governmental organization which gives back to the society to enable sustainable development and one of the things that spur us is when we look at a school and see children who are underprivileged”.
“ I came here to challenge and spur up the students and let them know that irrespective of the materials given to them, they should study their books because I am also a product of a public school. We have plans for scholarships. We’ll send our team to do feasibility studies to know which student actually needs this empowerment. We’re looking keenly into sponsorship” .
He said, “in 2021, we captured 600 students and we also gathered 200 bags and 200 bags are for students who performed excellently well in the last academic session across pre-nursery, primary 1-6, and also JSS1-JSS3. Cross River state is blessed with enormous resources and it is the right leadership we need to put everything in place to the right perspective”.
On her part, the Principal of Government Secondary School, Anantigha, Evangelist Valery Ekpenyong Henshaw, expressed her gratitude with the donation by the forum especially by for choosing her school for the empowerment our and “I know that it is going to help the children because a lot of them come from a very poor background, they cannot afford to pay their fees, buy books, buy bags etc but I believe with these that have been given to them, they will be able to perform better than they were doing before”.
Similarly the Head Teacher of the Anantigha Primary School, Comrade Jimmy Okoi, said, “it is a very welcomed and highly appreciated development” but appealed to the forum to capture very large number of students next time around.