By Chukwuemeka Otuchikere,
Miss Success Adegor‘s rise to fame sounds like the stuff that fairy tales are made of. Fortune has smiled on the bold and outspoken seven-year-old pupil of Okotie Eboh Primary School Sapele, (OEPSS) Delta State. The head teacher of the school Mrs. Vero Igbigwe is not so fortunate. She has been suspended from her job at the Delta State Universal Basic Education Board.
The video clips showing the deplorable condition of the school is indeed a great indictment of the state government and her utter neglect of the Universal Basic Education goal of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) concerning education. Mrs. Igbigwe is only a victim of institutional decay, which has eaten deep into the educational sector of Nigeria. She is the weak link in the chain of command that has promised to provide free qualitative education without creating an enabling environment. When the Federal government actually spends more money providing free feeding in selected states which is far in excess of the entire education budget across all tiers of the educational sector from primary to tertiary level. One begins to wonder if the core mandate of the education ministry is to feed school children or ensure that they focus on learning life skills.
That Nigeria is a nation of great contradictions is obvious. As Mrs. Igbigwe is been quizzed by relevant authorities, I hope that pertinent questions will be asked and solutions proffered will not just be cosmetic because as it stands, Mrs. Head teacher is simply a victim, she cuts the picture of the Israelites being asked to make bricks without straw.
I believe that the governor of Delta state, the entire ministry of education, the Local government within which the school is located has big questions to answer, – why should such a rich oil producing state have such run-down schools that will make anyone blush to be associated with such a big name “Okotie Eboh” yet such state of disrepair, another huge contradiction.
Rather than persecute the head teacher, I think the governor and indeed all state governors need to urgently carryout comprehensive auditing of the state of schools in their domain. This will save us this type of embarrassment, even schools in war-torn Afghanistan do not look like OEPSS, the environment appears very unsafe for any type of serious teaching and learning to take place.
Thank you Success Adegor for displaying such determined ruggedness in your quest for education, you are such an inspiration to your generation. Like you, every Nigerian child deserves some decent environment for their gifts and talent to flourish. Thank you Stephanie Idolor, whatever was your motivation for creating the video, it turned out to be an eye opener to the state of education in one part of Nigeria, nay, all over the country.
Chukwuemeka Otuchikere, a geologist and entrepreneur is based in Calabar, Cross River state.