Governor Theodore Orji
By Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
The Seventh Day Adventist Church has earmarked N100 million for the renovation of Adventist High School, Ihie, a 59-year-old school, which was among the mission schools recently returned by the state government.
National President of the school’s Old Students’ Association, Dr. Elizabeth Esochaghi, who disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Umuahia, thanked Governor Theodore Orji for returning the schools to their owners.
The president said the church would start the rehabilitation of the school soon and expressed its desire to make the school regain its lost glory. “Currently, the buildings are dilapidated, the infrastructure have all collapsed and the entire compound taken over by weeds. If you go there today, you will weep, no student in the school has sat for the certificate examination in the last six years.”
Esochaghi recalled with nostalgia the international status that the school attained in the past, when it attracted students from neighbouring West African countries, but regretted that with the takeover, the school became “a ghost of its original status.”
She said the school further degenerated to become a community school with only students from Ihie and the surrounding villages constituting the population having regained ownership of their schools, she said the private owners have to look inwards to fund the schools with or without subvention from government.
According to her, the mission has demonstrated the capacity to develop schools because in the last 10 to15 years, after it lost hope of recovering the schools from government, it built new schools to meet public demands, adding that the return of schools would help to restore standard, discipline and commitment among teachers and students.
On how to restore standards in the country’s education system, she said: “If government can right-size and run a manageable number of schools to compete with private schools, there will be standard and discipline.”