BY DAYO ADESULU
The President- General, (World Wide), Government College Ughelli Old Boys’ Association (GCUOBA), Chief Joseph Akpieyi has said that reintroduction of the boarding school system into the college, as well as training and retraining of school teachers will restore the quality of education which was once enjoyed many years ago.
Akpieyi who spoke at the Lagos branch, GCUOBA annual luncheon party held at Sheraton Hotels and Tower, Lagos, last Sunday noted that the Association discovered that since the cancellation of Boarding system in the prestigious government school, the level of education in our youth has depreciated drastically.
He said: “We have gone for a new principal, he is the best in the whole of Delta by reputation. People say ‘if you can get Okoro, he will strengthen the academic performance’.”
He added, “We are really determined about good teachers because for there to be brilliant students there have to be good teachers. If the students are hardworking and the teachers are good, you get a good result. However, the type of result we are getting now, is not encouraging. I think the quality of teachers has to be in their dedication.”
The President who noted that teachers in those days were extremely dedicated said,such teachers thought of nothing else but the welfare of the school. He noted that their pride was in the quality of students produced.
“I do not think that type of commitment is there anymore. Some thing is wrong as I can see from the result. It is either the students are not dedicated to their studies or the teachers are not doing as much as they should be doing,” he added.
Professor Patrick Muoboghare, Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Delta State in his remarks said, Government College Ughelli has done heavily to fund education in that school adding that the Association has realised that government alone cannot single-handedly fund education, be it Federal, State or Local level.
He said: “I am aware that the old boys have expended nothing less than N70million on the school. When you get to that school and see projects going on, you can hardly differentiate between government projects and the old boys’ association project.
If government should give free education, provides free uniforms, writing materials and feed them. What is the responsibility of the parents who have the children themselves? Whether we like it or not, the primary upbringing of a child, health wise and education wise is that of the parents.”
He lamented that most parents now decide to abandon their children to government and teachers querying that when a child does not do well in school, rather than the parents chiding the child, they heap the blame on the government and teachers.
On his part, the President, GCUOBA, Lagos branch, Mr Alfred Okoigun noted that the alumni is only interestedin bringing back the quality of education they enjoyed many year sago and create avenue to assist one another.
He said: “At some point, there was an old boy who was ready to pay any principal anywhere in the world to bring GCU back to glory. Because the way the school was at that time, if you bring in Jesus Christ, nothing was going to change except we start gradually and bring the school back to the level we are seeing now.”
He reiterated that it was possible for some of the old boys to establish their own secondary school or university, but felt that what will happen to those schools later, if the likes of Government College, Ughelli, King’s College, St Gregory cannot survive their quality after some years.
“If they do not survive, he maintained, there is no way all these young schools will survive after some years, insisting, “We have to get back to make those schools survive and with the kind of training we have given to those students, they will also be doing what we are doing today.”