Community secondary school Mgbakwu (henceforth referred to as CSSM) is one of the foremost secondary schools in the then Ezu local government and the present day Awka north local government area.
According to history, CSSM provided a unique learning environment, due to its serene and friendly- weather outlook, where students from far and near, congregate for their secondary school education in the 80s.
It is instructive to note that people, as far as Awka south, Achalla and Ebenebe, to mention but a few, found CSSM as the preferred destination and choice of school for their much desired academic pursuits.
Perhaps, the testimony of the exploits of the graduates of CSSM, which housed both boarding and day students, was evident in the political landmark achievements of Awka north especially during the second republic politics.
Awka north, with Mgbakwu as the rallying point, performed creditably well in both state and national politics, consequent upon the fact that some of the major political players of that era owe strong allegiance to the exceptional educational opportunities and network of friends garnered from their stay at CSSM.
However, the passage of time, running into several decades and punctuated with significant neglect by successive governments of Anambra state, has rendered the once revered citadel of academic excellence comatose. The state of CSSM, as at today, can least be described as deplorable, scandalous, horrible, grievous and only fit for use as piggeries pen.
The hitherto giant and palacious boarding houses or male hostels have long been reduced to mere rubbles. These buildings should have been rescued from avoidable collapse and converted to other uses if the boarding program of the school could not be sustained.
The story is the same or similar for the other structures such as the classroom blocks, science laboratory block, introductory technology building and other abandoned and uncompleted buildings and facilities.
Space will not permit me to describe the awful state of the roofs, walls, the floors and ceilings of the classroom blocks. They are better left to the readers’ imaginations.
As an emerging educational giant in the committee of states in Nigeria, Anambra state cannot afford to condone such dilapidations in our secondary schools. CSSM has become a classic example of and an epitome of an institution with considerable neglect by the state government. It is the result of this high level of unqualified structural decay and infrastructural deficit that the West African Examination Council withdrew its WASSCE hosting accreditation since almost ten years and counting.
Mgbakwu, as a community, is strategically located with close proximity to the seat of power at Agu-Awka. It serves as the first port of call for visitors, especially our development partners, who wish to see the impact of their collaborations with the Anambra state government on rural development and educational infrastructure provisions.
In addition, Mgbakwu is a host to a good number of state and federal government projects, especially ones involved in the advocacy and support for education for all and therefore it becomes a paradox to observe an increasing number of out of school children from a community that was once a prominent source of academic inspiration within its neighborhood.
Secondary education is becoming out of reach for the teeming population of Mgbakwu youths, most of who could not afford the exorbitant and sky-high fees in the bourgeoning private schools, with the implacable surge in social vices and crimes.
It is therefore, pertinent, that relevant instrument of state be fully and immediately deployed towards changing the ugly and miserable narratives in the fortunes of CSSM and reverse the consequential slide to a banana community.
The state government, under Chief Willie Obiano (Akpokuodike) should do everything within its powers to ensure adequate provision of infrastructure and other needed amenities to CSSM within the life of this administration. Functional library and well equipped science laboratory should be among the priority projects so as to enable WAEC return the school’s WASSCE hosting status.
The partially done World Bank sponsored perimeter fencing project should be completed so as to curtail further encroachment by illegal land speculators. The school should be upgraded to its former boarding status especially now that it serves as annex to the new Anambra State polytechnic Mgbakwu.
Source:By Oballum George