Old students of the Church of Jesus Christ Comprehensive Secondary School, Atai Otoro in Abak local government area of Akwa Ibom State have expressed sadness about infrastructural decay at the school and urged the state government to intervene expressly.
Interim chairman of the alumni association, Dr Felix Udofia, made the call at the maiden meeting of the old students held on the premises of the 49-year-old institution on Thursday.
In an emotion-laden speech, Udofia described as “unfortunate” the fact that the school was in a terrible state compared to “when we were here as students.”
“The school is facing a myriad of challenges which need to be genuinely addressed. The infrastructural facilities in the school are old and need replacement. There is need to arrest or checkmate the decay in physical facilities in our dear school.
“The lack or poor physical facilities and structures pose a serious challenge to successful implementation of free qualitative and compulsory education which is an important programme of this administration.
“The dilapidated state of facilities create fear, insecurity; poor attitude to work. The students on their part cannot learn under such unconducive ambience,” he said.
He commended the state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel for declaring a state of emergency in the education sector aside from other life-touching and landmark achievements.
He therefore urged the governor to extend the gesture to the school and save it from imminent collapse.
“Education is the bedrock of any society through which development, peace, industrialisation, security etc are predicated upon. Attempt by any nation to down play the role of education will spell doom.
“The recent turn around in the education sector in the state is commendable.
“We, the alumni, passionately appeal to the government of Akwa Ibom State…in line with the state of emergency declared in the education sector of the state, extend its magnanimity to Comprehensive Secondary School, Atai Otoro by way of “special intervention” to provide succour to the school to save it from imminent collapse,” he said.
As alumni, Udofia said “we cannot fold our hands and see the school collapse” emphasising that “education is the most powerful weapon that can be used to change the world.”
He said since the union had come to stay “we shall from time to time, come in to assist, as this is in tandem with government policy.”
Udofia commended the school’s management for still maintaining and ensuring the school “remains driven by a culture of excellence and strict adherence to global best practices.”
To the teachers, Udofia challenged them to “show courage in the face of adversity; live a life worthy of emulation so that your students can emulate you.
“As teachers, you should have passion, knowing fully, according to Sandberg, that ‘passion equals drive, drive equals determination and determination equals success.’”
Turning to the students, the interim alumni chairman enjoined them to “write your names in gold in the history book of our school by graduating with flying colours.”
He reminded them that “the journey to success in academics is always tough and rough and not as sweet as people would imagine,” and urged them not to allow the poor facilities in the school to deter their academic progress.
“When the going gets tough, the tough gets going”; never give up on your dreams. Note that the only way you can fail is if you give up. Feed your mind with ideas of success, not failure,” he added.