From Steve Oko, Umuahia
The Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, has threatened to shut down Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Umuahia, over the dirty environment and poor maintenance culture by the management of the school.
Nwajiuba, who made the threat during a visit on Saturday, expressed disappointment over the level of infrastructural dilapidation and poor sanitary condition in the school.
Nwajiuba, who was visibly angry as the management conducted him round facilities in the school, could not hold his peace but openly scolded them over his observations.
Irked by the sight at one of the hostels, the minister expressed dismay that students could be harboured in such a place.
His words: “Are you running a prison here? Even prisons are better than this! Are parents allowing their children to be here? You people are in trouble!”
“This school will fall into the category of schools we will close for two years!” He yelled.
“I should come and pick ‘komkom’ (empty cans) for you, or you write to Abuja to award a contract for the cleaning of your premises?
“You have 200 staff here and you cannot manage 2,000 girls. Are you not paid? You want this place to be shut down!
“Some of you must go on transfer. You think you are managing a community primary school? This is a Federal Government College for crying out loud!” the minister said.
Nwajiuba also expressed concern over the poor state of the school’s ultra -modern Library and the Covid -19 isolation centre, which he said was not in compliance with stipulated guidelines.
“Let me go, these people are not serious,” the minister thundered as he beckoned at his driver, removing his garland and placing it on the neck of one of the senior staff conducting him round the facilities.
In an interview with our correspondent, the school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Chairman, Mr. Chuka Agonmuo, who thanked the minister for the visit, said Nwajiuba’s observations were valid but blamed the decay in the school on previous managements.
Agonmuo said that the few improvements witnessed so far were recorded under the incumbent Principal, Mrs. Anthonia Idika -Kalu, who he said assumed duty only last year.
He, however, blamed the Federal Government over the inadequacies and dilapidations in the school, saying that applications for funds both from the school management and PTA don’t receive positive response.
His words : “It’s not just enough for the Federal Government to observe faults or aportion blames but to release funds for effective running of the school.
“If you go to Abuja our applications are lying there without attention. They keep telling us ‘there is no funds’.
“Can you imagine that out of 200 staff in this school, PTA pays 80 of them. FG should assist us because we can no longer sustain them now due to the effects of Covid -19.
“It’s not all about cobwebs because school is not in session now. Do you expect the staff to be picking dirts around the premises now that students are still at home? Government should do its own part.”