Governor Wike Flags Off Reconstruction Of 175 Public Schools

Governor Wike Flags Off Reconstruction Of 175 Public Schools
APC bombards Wike over abandonment of schools constructed by Amaechi
From Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has flagged off the reconstruction and furnishing of 175 Basic Schools across the 23 Local Government Areas of the state. 
The 175 basic schools    according to the governor are in deplorable condition which he noted are  making teaching and learning difficult. 
Performing the flag off of the reconstruction of the schools on Thursday  at the State School, Rebisi in Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said nobody would believe  that the immediate past administration left schools to decay  to  this level.
He  said that  when his administration  took over, the former administration  did not access UBEC, pointing out that the State Government  accessed  the funds for the re-positioning  of basic schools in the state.
According to  him, after paying the counterpart  fund, the state now has N5.6billion  to address the infrastructural  challenges  of selected  basic schools. 
“The entire  world  should see that  a school like  this exists in Port Harcourt.  Imagine the condition  of schools in the rural  areas. Just  imagine that  the past administration  claimed that they revolutionised  education. All they did was to construct a few schools by the  roadside. 
“The funds for the reconstruction and furnishing of these schools  have  been  set aside. Therefore, funding  will not be an issue.  I direct that  payment should be  done by  milestone. The contractors  should be paid  based  on the work they do. There  should be nothing  like variation”.
The governor  directed  that the reconstruction should be holistic  to improve teaching and learning  in all the  schools.
The reconstructed basic schools will have the following facilities: new furniture, sports equipment/facilities, Information/communication equipment, standby generator, boreholes, toilets , head-teacher office and table-top fridges.
But the All Progressive Congress in the state through its State Publicity Secretary, Chris Finebone yesterday disagreed with Governor Wike over his statement on the schools built by the former governor, Rotimi Amaechi.
Finebone said: “It is unfortunate that two years after becoming governor, Nyesom Wike is yet two understand the concept of development as it relates to visionary leadership. The governor’s comments today while flagging off the renovation of 175 schools in Rivers State underlines that.
“Wike prefers to abandon modern primary schools built across Rivers State by the Amaechi administration to renovating ancient schools built by missionaries at the start of the last century.
Now if those missionaries were to build schools for today’s computer age, they will build exactly the type of schools Amaechi built which Gov. Wike has regrettably abandoned to be overgrown with weeds.
“The ultra modern secondary schools built by Amaechi like one at Ebubu, Eleme is the type of school meant to train children for the present and future times. It boils down to choice between embarking on sustainable, world class schools or mediocre, cheap and obsolete schools that can produce competitive children for present and future ages.”
However, Governor Wike  noted that his administration has awarded contracts for the equipping  of laboratories  of selected  secondary  schools and re-stocking of libraries.
He said: “While the immediate past administration used over N4billion to build one school, we are using slightly  above N1billion to  build  one school. This  is a prudent administration “.
In his remarks, Executive Chairman of the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board, Venerable Fyneface Akah said the reconstruction is being done via the Federal Government Universal Basic Education Commission/Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board 2014-2016 Intervention Projects for Rivers State. 
He said: “One great benefit the day’s event holds for education and indeed for all of us , is that it offers a time for common reflection on the very needful and yet neglected aspect of educational organisation which hitherto was a prime place.
“We appeal to community and local government leadership in the state to realise that we now live in a time when all must respond to the invitation to stand  with the state government to own and ensure security of school staff and facilities provided by government for use in our various communities “.