. . . as He Commissions Classroom Block in Igboukwu
By Jude Atupulazi
The Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, has called on politicians and other well-meaning individuals to invest in education in order to build a strong foundation for the future. Bishop Ezeokafor who stated this during the commissioning of a five room classroom block and office donated to Central School, Igboukwu, by Hon Ikem Uzoezie, member representing Aguata 11 State Constituency in the state House of Assembly, urged other members of society to emulate Uzoezie's gesture, reports Jude Atupulazi.
According to Bishop Ezeokafor, Catholic Education offered both material and spiritual aspects of education and unless people received these aspects, then education was incomplete.
He expressed gratitude to the Anambra State Government,especially that of former Gov Peter Obi, for returning schools to their original owners and still helping in their funding.
Noting however that government could not be expected to do everything, the bishop called on other well-meaning individuals in society to emulate Uzoezie by investing in education, even as he urged the teachers and other staff members to put the facility to good use.
Bishop Ezeokafor then announced the decision of the Church to build a fence for the school to protect the pupils.
In his speech, Hon Uzoezie, who donated the facility, said even though he did not attend the school, he decided to do that because of those who did, including his father, even as he noted that education was something not to be toyed with.
He said the maintenance of the facility remained a job for all stakeholders, including the teachers, members of the PTA and old students, even as he urged the incoming member of the state assembly to dedicate himself to the betterment of the community through prudent use of constituency funds.
Uzoezie also urged the people of the area to invest in Primary Healthcare, noting that he also ran a health insurance programme.
Promising to donate ten teachers' desk and chairs to the school, he advised them to make appropriate use of the board facility in the classrooms.
Contributing, Uzoezie's father, Prof Ralph Uzoezie, decried the apathy of the public towards developing infrastructure. He recalled how dilapidated the school had been before he intervened through his son and urged others not to shy away from helping whenever their help was needed.
Earlier, the headmistress of the school, Mrs Bernadine Ezechukwu, thanked Uzoezie for his gesture, noting that he had put smiles on the faces of the students
She said his intervention came after many years of neglect, a development, she noted, had posed a security threat to the school.
One of the parents, Mrs Lawrencia Onyekwelu, expressed happiness over the gesture by Uzoezie, noting that it would enhance the quality of learning in a conducive environment.
On the bishop's pledge of fencing the school, she said it would help in protecting the pupils from criminals, as well as controlling their movement.
Stakeholder after stakeholder, including politicians, lauded Uzoezie for his gesture, pledging their support for him.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of a plaque to Ikem Uzoezie by the school through the bishop.
Fides gathered that Uzoezie had earlier provided water and generator for the school.