Pst Umo Eno, governor of Akwa Ibom State, declared a state of emergency on primary schooling in the state.
The governor also ordered the immediate restoration and upgrade of facilities in primary schools throughout the state.
The governor issued the directions during an unplanned visit to Christ the King Primary School on Willington Bassey Way in Uyo on Friday.
He said that the school would be upgraded to standard with the renovation of structures, provision of educational materials, solar lights, pipe-borne water and staff quarters.
Besides replicating the model in schools in rural areas in line with the rural development thrust of his administration’s A.R.I.S.E. Agenda, Eno said that the state would provide special incentives for teachers in rural and riverine areas to encourage them to perform maximally in those communities.
“Education is a key thing in the A.R.I.S.E. Agenda and so we are determined, especially at the grassroots level. The grassroots level of Education begins with primary school.
“This school is next to the Government House. So it should be a model. We want to start here to create that model primary school we’re talking about. I have just interacted with the pupils, they are vacating on the 28th, and we will use that holiday to remodel this school, working very hard with the Ministry of Housing, the Architect and the rest.
“I believe we should invest in these Children, and this is when to catch them young. The school renovated will have teachers resident there. I will give them a little allowance to encourage them, particularly in rural communities. I want to go to those riverine communities, and for teachers that are posted there, we will encourage them.
“This will be the first for the primary schools on what I think a model primary school should look like. I want to get teachers back to school and to live in the school. It will help maintain discipline. I have even started a commitment with the Head Mistress and she has promised that if provided with necessary facilities, they will live here. I remember the compound Master of those days and other key position holders in the schools used to live within the school premises.
“We will provide security for them. I have asked the SSG to ensure that they employ people from this community immediately. If they have four, two in the day and two at night that will ensure adequate security, and that’s what we intend to do across the state.
“I believe we should invest in these Children, and this is when to catch them young. Schools renovated will have teachers resident there. I will give them a little allowance to encourage them, particularly in rural communities. I want to go to those riverine communities, and for teachers that are posted there, we will encourage them”, he stated.
The Governor directed the Ministry of Housing to expedite action on the remodelling of the school with a solar lighting system for an all-round power supply and other facilities within three months.
Pst Eno who was impressed with the Headmistress, Mrs Eme Joseph Bassey, directed the immediate and special promotion of the Headmistress, warning that she should not be posted out of the school.
In her interaction with newsmen from Government House, the Headmistress, Mrs Eme Bassey, thanked the Governor for the visit, adding that despite the proximity of the school to Government House, no governor has ever visited the school to know its challenges.
Mrs Bassey expressed appreciation for the decision of the state administration to remodel the institution