By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
The Anambra State House of Assembly has raised concerns on overcrowded classrooms in State-owned schools, urging the Governor, Willie Obiano, to establish more public primary and secondary schools in strategic locations across the state for easy access to quality and affordable education.
After examining the challenges facing pupils in Anambra State-owned schools, the House of Assembly, on Thursday, resolve followed a motion raised under Matters of Urgent Public Importance by Charles Obima (Oyi), and seconded by Onyebuchi Offor (Ekwusigo).
Obima lamented the low number of government-owned schools in the state owing to the fast expansion of several residential estates and increasing population.
“Opportunity for all is the 4th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) earmarked by the United Nations to be attained by its member nations by the year 2030;
“I am deeply concerned that a good number of the residents of the state residing where there are no government-owned schools are now at the mercy of private school proprietors, whose services are often times very exorbitant for the common man to afford.
“We also need to be mindful of the provision of Section 18(1) of the 1999 Constitution which states that Government shall
direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate educational opportunities at all levels.
“I am, however, convinced that setting up additional government-owned schools will facilitate easy access to quality and affordable education thereby waging a massive war against illiteracy in the state, “Obima said
Supporting the motion, the lawmaker representing Ogbaru l, Noble Igwe, said that many students travelled far to access education daily, saying, “Most of the existing schools are not easy to access by some students thereby causing high transportation burdens to parents and also leading to overcrowded classrooms.
“Establishing additional public schools will enable students to have easy access to schools as well as decongest already overcrowded ones for efficient and qualitative education”, he added.
In his views, the lawmaker representing Anaocha l, Ejike Okechukwu, said that many private schools did not have recreational facilities necessary for all-round learning and development of students, noting, public schools are far better to attend for a complete education.
The Deputy Speaker, Paschal Agbodike, who presided over the session stressed that education remain right of every child in the state and not a privilege.
“We urge Governor Obiano to direct the Commissioner for Basic Education to take the necessary steps towards setting up additional public schools in certain strategic areas within the state to ensure equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning, “Agbodike added