The Anambra State Government will spend N2.7 billion to rehabilitate and upgrade nine secondary schools in the state, Commissioner for Basic Education, Kate Omenugha, has said.
Mrs Omenugha, a professor, made the disclosure at the 2020 Ministry of Education’s budget defence before the State House of Assembly Committee on Basic Education in Awka, the state capital.
She said each of the schools would gulp N300 million to renovate.
She said three secondary schools have been selected from the three senatorial districts and it will cost about N2.7 billion to rehabilitate and upgrade the nine schools.
“Anambra won many national awards during the last World Teachers Day celebration in Abuja, and our schools and students have been getting awards of recognition both at the national and global levels.
“We need to maintain that status by upgrading our schools, more especially, the secondary schools.
“We have carried out researches and we realised that the rehabilitation will cost about N300 million per school,’’ she said.
The commissioner said the state government was trying to improve on all the existing facilities to make the schools more conducive for teaching and learning.
Mrs Omenugha said the rehabilitation would be done in phases due to limited funds.
She also said there were plans to commence the construction of three model schools with one in each of the three senatorial districts.
“We have done our estimates and it will cost about N4 billion to complete the three model schools which will be located at Isuofia, Ogbunike and Mgbakwu.
“These projects are captured in the 2020 budget, but we are appealing that they get approved so we can improve the standard of education in the state,’’ she said.
Mr Omenugha said the ministry’s budget performance for 2019 was about 12 per cent, blaming it on low fund or non-release of funds to carry out major capital projects in the sector.
Speaking, Ifeoma Okaro, Chairperson, Post-Primary Schools Service Commission (PPSSC), urged the state government to increase the monthly running cost to school principals.
Mrs Okaro said it should be increased from N10, 000 to about N50, 000 based on the population of the school for efficiency.
Also, a lawmaker representing Ekwusigo State Constituency, Onyebuchi Offor, expressed displeasure over the low budget performance recorded by the ministry in 2019.
“It is not okay that such a very low budget performance was recorded in the Ministry of Education, which is one of the most important sectors in any state.
“Something must be done to stop the non-release of budgeted funds, because this concerns the future of our children,’’ Mr Offor said.
The House Chairman on Basic Education, Ejike Okechukwu (Anaocha ll), said there was need to improve on the standard of basic education in the state, especially in the area of infrastructure upgrade to compete globally.
Mr Okechukwu urged the ministry to ensure that they follow-up whenever they apply for funds for the implementation of projects.
A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) investigation reveals that many public schools, both primary and secondary, were in deplorable condition.
Many of the schools were without windows, toilets, furniture and perimeter fencing, while some of the structures posed serious danger to the pupils.
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