School with only one headmaster, one teacher

For the pupils of Community Primary School, Akpugoeze in Oji River Local Government Area of Enugu State, this may be the dawn of a new beginning.
For many years, the pupils had known only their headmaster and  one other teacher as the only ones teaching in the school.
But recently, the natives of Ofemmiri community, Akpugoeze, rose up to say the situation was no longer acceptable to them.
It was their home-coming and general meeting where they placed on the front burner issues relating to the problems of primary schools in the community.
In his welcome address at the meeting, the President General of Ofemmiri Community Development Union, Mr Livinus Onuigwe, a quantity surveyor, reminded the community leaders that they had relied on self-help efforts to move their community forward in the past, saying that it was through such self-help efforts that an illustrious son of the community single-handedly built a shopping centre for the community.
Emphasizing the importance of the meeting, the president general recalled that indigent students from the community got scholarship awards from another illustrious son whom he noted was also providing the villagers with free medical services.
At the end of the day, the schools received the desired attention as the community leaders who have returned for the meeting both from home and abroad visited the Community Primary School Ofemmiri where they lamented the dearth of teachers and quickly recruited four volunteer teachers to complement  the two that were on ground.
Onuigwe, who briefed newsmen at the end of this years’ meeting, explained that the yearly meeting was compulsory for every adult in the community.
“It is often used as a forum to discuss the development of the community in terms of education, health, security, rural roads and streets, youth development, sports, culture, assistance to widows and the less privileged in the community, among others.
“Every year we try to do one thing or the other to develop our community. For this year, we discovered that the Community Primary School, Akpugoeze had only two teachers, the headmaster and one other.
“What the community did was to look for volunteer teachers some of them who were retired, but still very active. Also some of our illustrious sons volunteered to be paying their salaries just to ensure that the school is functional and provides good and quality education to our people,” he said.
He disclosed that they also donated computers to the schools as they discovered that some of the pupils in the village do not know what a computer looks like.
“We also employed the services of some youth corps members to teach them computer.  It is the same situation with other neighbouring schools like the Central School Akpugoeze, the story is the same either two or three teachers. We have Community Primary School, Eziogwu, it’s the same thing. Personally, I made attempts to see the headmaster at Community Primary School Akpugoeze, but it was not possible; you hardly see the headmaster. He is always going for one programme or the other, one training or the other; it was pathetic as little children roamed around aimlessly during school hours,” he said.
Onuigwe said that they believed that if basic training was “lost at this initial stage it will be disastrous in the development of these children,” saying that was why they decided to engage teachers and pay them.
“For this year, we employed about four teachers which is not even enough for the entire primary one to primary six.
“Also, we were able to energize the community by purchasing and installing a brand new transformer to replace our old and vandalized transformer, which has kept the community in darkness for some time now.  We bought a new transformer for ourselves; we didn’t have to wait for the government; it’s our contribution to the development of our community and the state at large.
“We also organized a lecture on youth development because we believe that the youth must be empowered; they must be thought what to do. They are not just the future leaders; they are also the leaders of today. So, we started from the beginning to catch them young, teaching and showing them the right way to go; all in a deliberate attempt to mould them to what they should be,” Onuigwe said.

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