THE Anambra State Government will spend N2.7 billion to rehabilitate and upgrade nine secondary schools in the state as contained in the 2020 budget says the Commissioner for Basic Education in Prof. Kate Omenugha.
She the disclosure during her defense of her ministry’s 2020 budget before the House of Assembly Committee on Basic Education.
Explaining that it will cost N300 million to renovate each of the schools, she noted that there were plans to commence the construction of three model schools with one in each of the three senatorial districts.
Acknowledging that the had won many national and global awards, she said, “we need to maintain that status by upgrading our schools, more especially, the secondary schools.”
Omenugha said that the rehabilitation would be done in phases due to limited funds as the state government tries to improve on the existing facilities to make the schools more conducive for teaching and learning.
She continued: “We have done our estimates and it will cost about N4 billion to complete the three model schools, which will be located at Isuofia, Ogbunike and Mgbakwu.
“We are appealing that they get approved so we can improve the standard of education in the state.”
Omenugha said that the ministry’s budget performance for 2019 was about 12 per cent, blaming it on low fund or non-release of funds to carry out major capital projects in the sector.
The Chairperson, Post-Primary Schools Service Commission (PPSSC), Mrs Ifeoma Okaro, urged the state government to increase the monthly running cost to school principals from N10, 000 to about N50, 000 based on the population of the school for efficiency.
The lawmaker representing Ekwusigo State Constituency, Mr Onyebuchi Offor, expressed displeasure over the low budget performance recorded by the ministry in 2019.
He said: “It is not okay that such a very low budget performance was recorded in the Ministry of Education, which is one of the most important sectors in any state.
“Something must be done to stop the non-release of budgeted funds, because this concerns the future of our children.”
The Committee Chairman on Basic Education, Mr Ejike Okechukwu (Anaocha ll), said there was need to improve on the standard of basic education in the state, especially in the area of infrastructure upgrade to compete globally.
Okechukwu urged the ministry to ensure that they follow-up whenever they apply for funds for the implementation of projects.
A recent investigation by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reveals that many public schools, both primary and secondary, were without windows, toilets, furniture and perimeter fencing, while some of the structures posed serious danger to the pupils.