By Akpokona Omafuaire
OMADINO — PUPILS up till now sit on bare floor to study in Delta State, while the head teacher and staff of a government-owned school in Delta State have neither offices nor chairs and tables to write on.
NDV made the startling discovery at 77-year-old Jelu Primary School, Omadino and intriguingly, an oil-rich community in Warri South Local Government Area.
It was an appalling spectacle as human excreta littered the school’s toilets and classrooms with pupils, some without uniforms, sitting on the bare floor to learn.
A gaze upward showed that the ceilings of many of the classrooms had been destroyed long ago with the ramshackle floor and environment infested with reptiles.
The neglect of the school founded in 1940 by both community leaders and government is mind-blowing. With just one block of six classrooms, there are no windows, doors, chairs, chalkboards and staff room when NDV visited.
It was learned that most members of the community send their kids to government schools at neighbouring Ughoton in Okpe Local Government Area and cared do not give a hoot about what befalls their only school.
Head Teacher, Stella Nengite, crawled back into her shell after efforts to get community leaders and government attention failed. A source disclosed that some National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, who rejected their posting to the school, took it upon themselves to contact non-governmental organizations for help.
Itsekiri elites alleviate pains
This was the point that Itsekiri Elite in United Kingdom got to know about the difficult and mobilized to the rescue of Jelu Primary School, by raising funds for the renovation of the decrepit school.
President, Ugbajor Itsekiri, Dr. Mogba Eyoiyibo, while making donations of chairs, benches and windows to the school, called on the state government to declare a state of emergency in Jelu Primary School.
Eyoiyibo, miffed at the complete neglect of the school by community leaders, who even tried unsuccessfully to hinder their donation, thanked the teachers that weathered the bad state of the school to regularly attend classes. He, however, appealed to the pupils to face their studies, praying that they would become great in life.
Head teacher, teachers, pupils excited
Head Teacher, Nengite, who sang along with teachers and the pupils, could not hide her joy as the team made the contributions. Elated pupils sang and danced at the opportunity of having chairs, benches and windows in their classes.
She offered prayers in native dialect in emotional laden tone with tears of joy dripping off her cheeks. Nengite accused community youths of invading the school at will to defecate in the classrooms and mess up the toilets.
“They come here anytime to defecate in the classrooms, they break down the doors and windows. Most worrisome, the community people come into the school to organize parties without permission and mess up the environment. When you try to question they will say it is their community,” she asserted.