How boundary crisis disrupts academic activities in A/Ibom

Children from the Nkari community in Ini Municipality, Akwa Ibom State have not been to school for two years, while their peers within the council area and across the state are advancing academically. The Daily Trust Saturday reports on the crisis disrupting Akwa Ibom’s academic activities.

Instead of wearing school uniforms and going to class every day, some children are pregnant or gangsters.

The sight of these pregnant teenage girls roaming the streets, hiding from the public glare, and the boys who would terrorize the community in the future, was inspired by the elders and mentors of the Nkari community. is a concern for people.

The elders said the suspension of academic activities in the community after 2020 due to a boundary crisis between the community in the Equiano Regional Government District of Abia State and its neighboring Usaka Ukuwu is a key factor in the development of the community. I am concerned that this is an issue that will have a serious impact on

Not only have vast tracts of land abandoned during the conflict, but the crisis has already discouraged the cultivation of rice, the crop Nkali is known for, as well as other development projects slated by the government, leaving agriculture already underway. Activity has been suspended. community.

Eight months after a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed with the local government chairman Ini, “normality” has returned to Nkhali. Israeli Idaishin and Ikwano Chiefs of Staff Steve Mpamugo at the Joint Peace Accord Drafting Committee on 26 January 2022, in front of the Nigerian army led by Lt. NG Kebe, the effects of the crisis are still lingering.

A visit to the Nkari community secondary school revealed that the school was overgrown with grass and visitors had to walk through the bushes to find that already degraded classroom blocks and some of the facilities had collapsed. One thing became clear.

It was collected that despite efforts by the community to clear overgrown grass and bushes from abandoned school buildings in preparation for the reopening of classes for the semester that had just closed, classes had not resumed.

According to Ifa village headman and Nukali community clan head Obon Martins Udo, the Ministry of Education has kept its promise that academic activities in the community will resume in September and that teachers will be sent to schools to resume teaching. I didn’t.

Udo explained that the community was overjoyed when a team of education inspectors from Abuja visited it, and also promised that schools would reopen.

“Especially when we got into a crisis with the Igbo brothers last May, we were no help. So many lives have been lost, thank God for reconciliation and last year we signed a pledge to at least calm the situation.

“During the crisis, valuable equipment on the school grounds was destroyed. If the school had been there and had security guards day and night, this would not have happened. It is affecting us that children are not in school for three years starting in 2020. It is amazing these three years of not teaching in secondary school.

“Our children are suffering. Our children are now going to school outside. Especially girls are spoiled and men join bad gangs.

“If schools are not run, our children’s future will be undermined because they will turn to animals. Unruly, violent. and they will be trained if they progress to higher education levels. Our girls will not be at risk of pregnancy.

“In September, a team of inspectors from Abuja came here and said they had a surprise visit. Is not …

We have finished cleaning up the school building,” he said.

Commenting on the impact of the crisis on communities, Obon Okon Joseph Akpan, Caretaker of Gateway to Nkari, urged the government to intervene so that children can return to school, education He pointed out that he would be held responsible.

“As a result of the boundary crisis, we find ourselves in this kind of situation academically, and it is a problem. You may notice that the

“We are in a crisis with our neighbors in Equiwano, Abia State, so on May 20, 2020, they planned to annex this community, but God said no. And it was a big battle, we saw hell and were strangled with a lot of psychological and emotional problems, so much so that the government, both in manpower and facilities, to support education and health. I need help,” he said.

Regarding the efforts made by the Local Government Council to enable students and teachers to resume academic activities in local secondary schools, LGA Supervisor, Political and Mayor Utin Okon said the State Universal Basic Education He said he had written to the committee. (SUBEB) and the Ministry of Education are seeking local primary and secondary school teachers.

Okon lamented the lack of government in the area, saying that schools were the only consolation that the children had hope for as the area had been completely ignored by the government.

He explained that the crisis in the region was long overdue, with an agreement signed by the warring communities, and wondered why it was so difficult for state governments to guarantee the resumption of academic activity in schools, urging communities to A Methodist primary school in Muvente village, near the home of Edidem Udoette Eddon, the supreme ruler of the Ini local government area, because the school has no teachers, he added. .

“Some people want to move, others are outright staying away. The excuse was that there was a crisis, but it has been over a year. reached an agreement with the commander of the Iba military base.

“Young people have stopped making trouble, they have stopped fighting.

“I have been working with the chairman of the local government for the development of this community for seven years. Never.

“For the last two months, I have been still with the National Boundary Commission on this matter. Last time was with SUBEB. , the government sends teachers to our schools.

“These help these girls to get pregnant, curb the pregnancy rates we’ve seen for ourselves so they don’t have problems in the future.” The boys should stop so we can give them our own moral righteousness as God gave the Nkari people,” he said.

Sir John Udo, Director of the State Board for Universal Basic Education (SUBEB), which is in charge of school services, said when he was informed of the challenges in Nkari, teachers placed in secondary and primary schools were threatened by the crisis. and risked his life to escape.

Mr Udo revealed that many of the community-placed teachers have requested transfers to other schools, and the commission will place indigenous people from the community under the employment of the state government as teachers in the schools there. He added that he is working on a method. Report this ad

“You know the area is a war zone. They arrived at Mbiabon Ikot Udofia with an escort.

“If you are not from Nkari and I put you there to work, when you think the peace is back there may suddenly start a fight. do you

“There is a special case in Nkari. Even with the police there, there is still a problem. Can you be in an environment where they are fighting and there is vice?”

Besides SUBEB members awaiting confirmation from the community that they will cease fighting and prepare schools for the resumption of academic activities, the Commission will work with education supervisors at the local government level to ensure that teachers are at school. I explained that I had confirmed that I had been assigned to Schools there will resume classes.

But he lamented that parents have withdrawn their children from local public schools as a result of the crisis, adding that even if the government sent teachers to primary schools, it would be proportionate to the number of students available. rice field. .

“We were asking to restore peace. Communities, solve your problems, and when you solve them, we will come and start school. I learned that the two communities met and settled The reopening is in September, with teachers in schools and schools to start (I think there are about 5 schools in that community).

“What we try to do as a committee to get people to respond is we want people from that community to post there. Looking for measures.

“We have teachers in place and we go out to inspect. We have quality assurance and the local government education secretary helps us with inspections. The problem may not be the board again.”

“Many parents are withdrawing their children from (elementary) school, so we cannot send teachers because there are no teachers to waste. No. Principal and other teachers i.e. 1 teacher for 1 class Divide 40 by 4 to get 8 students per teacher.

“We don’t have teachers because teachers retire every year and the government needs to plan.

A lot of money is being spent paying teachers’ salaries, so it might be this year. You will spend a lot of money on road construction. The government cannot recruit teachers every year,” he said.

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