The Bishop of the Niger Diocese, Anglican Communion, Dr. Owen Nwokolo and the Old Boys Association of Oraukwu Grammar School, Oraukwu, in Anambra State, have decried dearth of teachers in the school, describing the posting of only nine teachers to the iconic school by the state government was huge joke.
The Bishop and old students saw the situation as a tactical plot to downgrade and run down the wavemaking school, owned by the church but run jointly with the state government.
While passionately appealing to the State Ministry of Education to send qualified core subject teachers to the school, Bishop Nwokolo lamented that the core subject teachers currently in the school were privately engaged by its Old Boys and the Parents Teachers Association.
Addressing a gathering of the Old Boys Association where they honoured 10 of their past teachers at the school, Nwokolo regretted that their concerted efforts to make the school a “grammar” and “technical” school in all ramifications was being threatened by low number of quality teachers in core subject areas.
“In concert with the Old Boys, the Niger Diocese is committed to improving the atmosphere for teaching and learning in all our schools, including Oraukwu Grammar School. We want every student who graduates from here to leave with excellent results. “We had earlier begged the Commissioner for Basic Education without success for a capable male principal.
But now we have on our own found one and have since been requesting the state government to take up responsibility of his salary and other entitlements. We are hopeful that it would not be long for all these requests to be met,” he said.
Commending the robust relationship existing between the state government and the church in the education sector, Nwokolo urged for more and improved assistance towards upgrading the dilapidated infrastructure in all the schools so that more laurels would be won by our students both at the internal and external examinations.
He expressed deep joy that the state has continued to lead in West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (NECO) exams for years now. Going down memory lane, the Bishop noted that, “when the schools were taken away from us by the government years ago, they were very functional -the laboratories, the dormitories, the halls, classrooms, libraries, etc. But they are all in dilapidated state of decay now that they returned them.”
The national President of the Old Boys Association, Prof Kris Ekweozor disclosed that the honouring of the past teachers would be sustained as “we no longer want teachers’ reward to be in heaven.
The event was made possible by the benevolence of our members. It would soon be extended to serving teachers with excellent teaching performance and students who passed in flying colours.
The Old Boys also lamented that the neither the Governor, nor the Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof Kate Omenugha honoured their invitation to the occasion, or sent any representative or regrets. We are sure they were ashamed to be told the truth.
The principal of the school, Rev Cannon (Dr) Emmanuel Ibezim also appealed for core subject teachers in Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Additional Mathematics pointing out that the nine teachers posted by the government were not in these areas. That it was the Old Boys Association and the Parents Teachers Association that employed the core subject teachers. But that they were grossly inadequate.