Ngor/Okpala: Non Acquisition of Textbooks among Public Schools Students and Other Challenges
By Nwaorgu Faustinus
The role textbooks play in the advancement and enlightenment of humanity cannot be over stressed especially in the education of public and private primary school pupils as well as their secondary school counterparts. Apart from being a veritable source of acquiring knowledge, it also serves as an invaluable medium for preparing public and private school students for both internal and external examinations as they burn the midnight oil in order to make good grades. Furthermore, students consult their textbooks when assignment or homework is given thus playing the role of an assistant in getting the assignment done.
But what has continued to agitate the minds of many observers of the issue at hand is the alarming rate of non possession or rather acquisition of textbooks by public and even private school students in Ngor/Okpala council area. Investigation by this writer showed that few students have Mathematics and English Language textbooks as a result of the importance teachers and parents attach to them. It is not an exaggeration that out of ten randomly picked students, only three or four have Mathematics or English Textbooks not to mention other subjects’ textbooks whose possession have become very rare. A visit to public schools and dispassionate assessment of the numbers of students that have textbooks will surely make the assessor sad.
Question: who is to blame for this state of affairs? No doubt, parents should be the ones to take the bulk of the blame as the provision of textbooks for their wards should be their responsibility. Poverty one of the vicissitudes of life, in addition to other family challenges has been adduced for the inability of most parents to purchase textbooks for the various subjects taught in schools. The situation most times prevent some public school students from solving their take-home assignment as there is no handy textbooks they can use as a guide, assistance or aid to get the assignment done. Often times such homework is left unattended as there is no textbook or willing individual or person knowledgeable that can assist them tackle such academic work.
The various tiers of government should not be excluded from the blame, for there are still public schools that have not received textbooks either from the state government or local government since the inception of democracy in 1999. A visit to some public school libraries will reveal a sad story of indifference by the state government and local government to equip them with contemporary textbooks for the students to use.
No doubt our parents and constituted authorities whose responsibility is to provide textbooks for their wards and public schools especially at the grassroots have failed, taking into cognizance the state of some of the libraries which is best described as abysmal. Needless to say that such state of affairs needs to be reversed for the better. Therefore, a proactive step should be taken by parents, state government and the local government with a view to providing textbooks for students and public schools’ libraries. As an addition, public-spirited individuals, nongovernmental organizations and cooperate organisation touched by the seemingly appalling state of libraries in the council area can donate textbooks as part of their corporate social responsibility
Similarly, the state government led by Governor Owelle Rochas should as a matter of utmost importance employ teachers who will teach some subjects where teachers for such subjects are lacking. The above request has become imperative in view of complaint being made by students of some public secondary schools in the council area.
It is being alleged in some quarters that teachers deployed or transferred to schools that are far and located at the outskirts of some rural communities immediately work their transfer or deployment back to urban-based schools as a result of the availability of social and infrastructural facilities. But for how long will the government continue to tolerate such misdemeanour meted out to rural-based public schools and what is it doing to nip the trend in the bud? It behoves the appropriate authority charged with posting of teachers in rural areas to follow it up to ensure that those posted to rural schools do not influence their posting back to the state capital.
With the present upsurge in the population of public school students, especially in the rural areas brought about by the introduction of free education in Imo State by the current administration of Chief Rochas Okorocha, it has therefore become expedient to send teachers to schools where their services are urgently needed. I remember at the time I did a piece with the title, “Imo State Government: Save Amala/Ntu Secondary School from Total Rot” published in some online media that the above school among other schools need teachers that will teach a number of subjects that has no teachers to teach them. The ealier the state government do this the better.
God bless Ngor/Okpala.