In its determination to improve the moral and intellectual standard of education, Delta State government has officially handed over 40 schools to the mission and former owners
The state governor Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan who formally presented the handing-over letters to the missionaries assured teachers and non-teaching staff of the affected schools that their monthly salaries and pensions was guaranteed by the state government.
He said that his administration was determined to ensure that schools were returned to their original owners as it would help improve on the standard of education saying “This exercise is intended to improve on the standard of education. The mission has done this before and can still do it.”
The governor noted that government schools would compete with mission schools in providing quality and standard education in the state. “I believe the mission will provide a standard for government schools. We shall strive to match this standard.”
Governor Unduaghan lamented the moral decadence in the society stressing that education was gradually declining because teachers and students were no longer dedicated to their responsibilities.
Speaking further, he said the situation was different in mission schools “Society is gradually declining morally. Schools have lived up to expectation in this aspect because the students and teachers are dedicated”.
He commended the mission for their patience with government over the handing-over process adding that the process took over 10 years and promised that all issues arising from the handing over would be amicably resolved.
In a brief response, the Bishop of Anglican Dioceses of Oleh, Bishop Jonathan Edewor who spoke on behalf of the mission expressed appreciation to the state government for formally handing over schools to the mission.
He promised that the mission would do its best to build a high educational standard in the state and called on the co-operation of all Deltans in achieving this goal.
“We will not disappoint you as long as you co-operate with the mission. The mission will co-operate with the government in achieving this goal”.
Bishop Edewor commended the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare for accelerating the handing over process and appealed to government to give the mission the free hand to run the schools.
Highpoint of the ceremony was the presentation of handing-over letters to representatives of the mission which comprised of the Anglican, Catholic, Africa and Baptist Churches.
Meanwhile, the Delta State Government had earlier approved the construction of new schools in communities that had only missionary schools as replacement for those handed over to the mission to enable them have choice over which to attend.
The State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan who announced this during the inauguration ceremony of the State Bursary and Scholarship Board in Asaba, said two schools had already been established in Ozoro and Ororokpe to kick start the programme.
Dr. Uduaghan therefore appealed to communities in the state having issues with the handing over of schools to bear with the state government as such issues would be addressed.
The governor explained that modalities for the return of schools to the mission had been completed, adding that the interest of all stakeholders in the issue would be addressed.
Explaining further, he said that the committee that handled the return of schools did a thorough job and all fears both from the teachers, communities and religious organization were taken care of to ensure that the exercise satisfied
He said that the handing over of schools was done in the interest of the government and the people of the state, explaining that it would go a long way in promoting academic excellence and discipline.
“My administration has approved the return of 40 schools to the missionary. The state government has also approved the establishment of two new government schools in Ozoro and Ororokpe as the only school in the community were mission schools,” he said.
He announced that the state government pays the highest amount on bursary and scholarship in the country.
He expressed optimism that the new board would do its best in promoting his administration’s three point agenda; “We believe that every arm of government has a touch of Christianity, we hope that the members of different boards in the state will bring religious touch into their activities in order to help the state grow.”
Responding, the Chairman of the board, Rev. Fr. Buchi Aninye thanked the state government for giving him the opportunity to serve the state and promised that he would do his best in improving the image of the state.
He called on Deltans to give the board the necessary support, especially through prayers in order to enable them excel in their assignment.
Members of the board are Rev. Fr. Buchi Aninye as Chairman, Rev. Napolean Agbikimi, Barrister Kennedy Uwabiti, Barrister William Etibiebi and Mrs Margaret Anyanka as members.