Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The Enugu State Government has inaugurated the remodeled primary school built by the Old Students Association of Ihe Primary School, in Awgu Local Government Area of the state.
The school was renovated by some of the old pupils of the primary school who came together to form the Old Students Association of Primary School.
The projects constructed include two big classroom blocks, modern toilets with water closet, water borehole, basket ball pitch and lawn tennis court, fencing of the school and modern library with a computer room.
Others are installation of solar power in and around the school compound and recreational equipment.
Inaugurating the complex, the Enugu State Commissioner for Education, Prof Leonard Mbah, expressed delight in the projects.
“We see responsible community spirit at work.
“This reminds me of 1960s when most of our primary schools were built by communities both home and abroad and those schools lasted because communities invested in them.
“It means that our communities take ownership and that is the only way our institutions can survive and be sustained,” he said.
He urged other communities in Enugu State to emulate what Ihe old school students did to complement government’s efforts.
While commending the association, the commissioner said, “We are particularly encouraged and proud when we see projects like this that are based out of community initiative.
“The development initiative has taken this as a priority to invest in basic education which the foundation of education pyramid and the school is inclusive with people with disability having access to it.”
In his contribution, Dr G.O.C Ajah, the Chairman, Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (ENSUBEB), said Ihe people had special love for education, adding that the initiative was in line with the mission and vision of the present government led by Gov. Peter Mbah.
“By this, you have simply keyed into the vision of the governor,” he said.
The President of the association, Dr Madueke Ekoh, said the gesture was necessitated by the poor state of the primary school hence the association decided to modernise it.
“This call to action was championed by Mr. Peter Eneonwo, who took it upon himself to reach out to other members and persuaded them to join in the quest,” he said.
Ekoh represented by his brother, Ekenedilichukwu Ekoh, said the project costs over N200 million to execute.
“Today we are happy to make history as Primary School, Ihe, becomes a model elementary school for academic excellence in rural communities and these accomplishments will inspire teachers to impart quality comprehensive learning to our children.
The Chairman of the event, Chief Anthony Udeh, who also hailed from the community said the project initiative by the old students was a way of giving back to the society.
Udeh, who is the Chairman Joint Account/Allocation Committee, Enugu State, added that, “As an average Ihe man, I am overwhelmed and thanking God for this kind of opportunity in our lifetime.”
The chairman pledged that the community would maintain and sustain the project.
In her remarks, the Head Teacher, Ihe Primary School, Mrs Dorathy Udeani, described the project as ‘huge,’ saying she lacked words to express how she felt about it.
She thanked the old students of the primary school for rescuing the school from the edge of being abandoned.
“This school was begging for help and almost forgotten and your quick intervention has lifted this school above primary school level, the first of its kind in Enugu State.
“All these blessing are happening under few months of my resumption of duty as the Head teacher of the school,” Udeani said.