Cross River Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has condemned the burning of a recently constructed nine-classroom blocks at St Joseph Primary School, Bansara, Ogoja Local Government Area.
Stephen Odey, the chairman of the state’s SUBEB, in a statement on Tuesday in Calabar, described the act as nefarious, adding that the board would do everything within its power to fish out the culprit.
He said such actions had created a setback to the government’s efforts in tackling accommodation challenges facing schools despite the state’s lean resource.
“I am sad that despite all our efforts to make sure that basic education is given priority in Cross River, some people are still out to frustrate the good intentions of the government and SUBEB.
“The state government is spending huge resources, yet people are destroying school facilities and carting away equipment and learning material.
“There have been reported cases of vandalism, stolen computers, books and other facilities in some schools across the state, including the man arrested for stealing roofing sheets in a primary school in Asu Egbe, Ikom, Local Government Area”, he said.
The SUBEB chairman reiterated the need for communities to complement government’s efforts by taking ownership of schools to guard against theft and vandalise.
He warned that communities that did not protect infrastructure, learning materials and equipment provided by the government, would not benefit from future intervention.
Newsmen reports that the Cross River SUBEB has been going round the state to fix infrastructure in schools in the 18 local government areas of the state. A suspect was arrested, while investigation is still ongoing.
In other news, the Vice Chancellor, University of Calabar, Cross River State, Professor Florence Obi, has called on the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to come to its aid in the construction of a new library for the institution.
Professor Obi, who spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar, the state capital, also called for the assistance of the Niger Delta Development Commission and the Ministry of Education.
She said that the concern of the university was on the state of the library, adding that it had deteriorate.
According to her, the 13th Governing Council of the university is also worried about the state of the library, hence members gave their commitment towards its rehabilitation.
“I want to call on TETFund, Ministry of Education, NDDC and alumnus of University of Calabar to come to the support of the university in rehabilitating the university’s library.
“For now, that is where our worry and concern are because we do not have a library.
“Our library over the years deteriorated and nothing was done to revive it. So, we need to revive it, hence we need the support of all relevant agencies to ensure that our library is up standing.
“We are looking for funds to rehabilitate the university library. We cannot operate without a library because the library is the soul of the university.
“It is our hope that when we get responses from all relevant agencies, we will get back our library up and standing,” Obi said.