The ministry of education, Anambra state has directed that schools should run their programs on Saturdays. What it translates to is that teachers and students should be coming to school on Saturdays. This is something IMO state government can never contemplate doing. It takes an educated leadership to have a long range view like this.
The government of Anambra reasoned thus: Mondays are lost to IPOB’s order for sit at home. So, our kids have only four days for formal school learning. And an additional day has to come up to enable these kids get even with the lost days.
I must commend the state government for her proclivity and proactiveness. That is acceptable by me. The scheme, the curriculum and all the gamut of learning must be accomplished before an academic program is deemed consummated.
I expect the government to also consider all other sections of life: civil service, judiciary, legislature etc. All these lost a day each due to sit at home. It would be sheer hypocrisy to single out education sector for this special attention. Education ranks the at the lowest eb in fiscal attention! The sector receives peanut from government. I wonder how this govt suddenly woke up with the realisation that education is so important to her
But IPOB has threatened to deal with schools and teachers that open up on Saturdays. In her official release, the group cited Saturday as a holy day and that such days must not be desecrated!!! What actually struck me was the group’s reference to the aspect of the Nigerian constitution that forbids work on Saturday. I never expected IPOB to base her opposition to Saturday schooling on the prescription of Zoo’s constitution!!!
And again, I think IPOB should reconsider her threats. School programs, students , teachers, school buildings and all paraphernalia of pedagogy are considered sacred worldwide! This is a convention. Even in war times, they are spared of attacks. Libraries are untouched, and insignias of memories are least considered as attack destinations by enemies. I expect IPOB to respect this age long holding truth. They should spare students, their teachers and school buildings! They should support the Saturday program
Also, we should applaud the step taken by Anambra state. By moving school activities from Mondays to Saturdays, she has unwittingly surrendered to IPOB. Anambra is helpless. She has accorded the needed respect to the directives of the agitators. One expects IPOB to allow her have a soft landing
Igbos run the same education system with the rest of Nigerians. Our kids sit the same examinations under the same examination bodies. Disruption of learning, attacks on schools and teachers, threats and coercion on education sector would affect teaching and learning structure. Our kids will pay heavily for this. Already many Igbo kids missed some examinations in the last WASCE owing to IPOB sit at home order. Some schools were invaded. Some teachers were hurt and maimed.
I sincerely plead that IPOB withdraw her threats on education. Teachers are special persons. And their learners are harmless. Sanctity of the ministry of chalk and talk must be respected.
Akwaa akwuru Umuobom, a teacher and school owner writes from.Ikorodu