Acting Chairman of the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr. Joan Oviawe, has described as condemnable the vandalisation of properties at the Special Needs Schools for the Visually Impaired, Mentally Challenged and Hearing Impaired at Ukhegie, in Benin City.
In a statement on Thursday, in Benin City, Dr. Oviawe, who disclosed that the suspected vandals have been apprehended, sternly warned that the state government would no longer tolerate the destruction of facilities in public primary schools, noting that perpetrators will be held accountable and prosecuted in the court of law.
“It was gathered that window fittings and other facilities at the school were undone and carted away on Monday, February 12, by the suspects, whose names could not be released because the Police hasn’t concluded investigations on the matter.
“A total of six classrooms were affected in the incident with aluminium roofing sheets of one of the classrooms completely damaged. Officials of the school said this was not the first of such incidents at the school,” she said.
Dr. Oviawe said the incident is not only morally reprehensible but should be frowned at, adding, “The state cannot progress when facilities in primary schools are vandalised. Such acts put the future of children in public schools in jeopardy. These children deserve the right to learn in a conducive environment with adequate facilities.”
She appealed to communities and other stakeholders to work with government to root out vandals, noting, “Edo people who reside close to public schools should support government’s stance to stamp out the activities of vandals. They are encouraged to report individuals and groups who vandalise public assets in schools to the nearest police post.
She said efforts are ongoing to retrieve the stolen items from buyers, noting that the arrested suspects are in Police custody. “We intend to use the prosecution of this matter to teach others who are in the habit of vandalising public property lessons,” she said.