Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The Ihe community in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State has presented “fully equipped” science laboratories worth N120 million to the state government for joint management.
The laboratories were donated by members of the community, known as G-10) located at Ihe Community Secondary School to promote science education among students in the area.
Speaking during the handing over of the project, Chairman of the group, Air Commodore Chiemeka Ozoemena, (Rtd), said the gesture was a way of giving back to the community.
He said the group realised that government alone could not do everything, and needed the support of richly endowed members of the community to contribute to the educational development of the area.
Ozoemena said that the goal of the group was to make the school a science hub for the state and Nigeria.
“Since the government may not have the resources to do everything, we deemed it fit to assist in providing some of the things our children need.
“We are a development organisation that wants to see that good things come to Ihe; and that we will continue to do.
“Conservatively, we have invested over N120 million in carrying out this project.
“Today’s world is interested in science and technology and we want the best scientists and technologists to come from this town,” the chairman said.
Ozoemena said that the laboratories would provide the students with a solid foundation and practical experience to excel in their science subjects.
“So we expect them to make appropriate use of the laboratories and to bear in mind that their greatness started from here.
“The foundation we are laying today is for the greatness of our children.
“We equally expect them to use the facility responsibly with the focus and aim of being the best they can be,” he said.
The chairman further said that G-10 understood that science laboratory was a cornerstone for the promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education.
Ozoemena said that in order to sustain the project, a joint management group comprising the school authorities, the group and state government would be established.
The Chairman of the event, Chief Chinyeaka Ohaa, a retired Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, lauded the group for its love for education of the children in the community, neighbours and Nigeria.
Ohaa described the laboratories as a project worthy of emulation.
“I believe that more of this will spring up in other communities, be a relief to government, build more intellects and develop communities,” he said.
He urged the G-10 to ensure that the laboratories were well utilised in producing more students gaining admissions into universities in medical profession, engineering and other sciences.
The chairman called on the state government to appreciate the effort of the group by posting the best science teachers who could man the laboratories and use it to produce the best of future science professionals.
“Security men should also be posted here to guard the infrastructure,” he advised.
Also the state Commissioner for Education, Prof. Nwabueze Mbah, represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Patrick Ochi, commended the G-10, for the laudable project.
He said that the state government under Gov. Peter Mbah was in a hurry to develop education in the state.
“This is why he is building Smart Schools and these laboratories are in line with that as it will assist students in their practicals,” he said.
Also, the Chairman, Post Primary School Management Board, Rev. Fr. Hilary Mgbodile, represented by the Head of Department, Central Registration, Mrs Janefrancis Agalla, promised to provide science teachers to effectively utilise the laboratories for students.