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Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend - Education - Nairaland

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Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by Blue3k2: 3:19pm On Jun 06
INVESTIGATION: Collapse of Public Schools: Inside the first-class schools children of Akwa Ibom elite attend


A black colour SUV with tinted windscreens rolls into the street from a gated house at Ewet Housing Estate, an exclusive residential area for the elite in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

A little girl, being chauffeur-driven and protected by armed policemen, is on her way to school.

She has her textbooks and writing materials inside her backpack. She also has bottled water, juice, biscuits, and a lunch box filled with cooked noodles to be eaten at school during break hour.

She is the daughter of a top politician in the oil-rich state.

Her school, located few kilometres away at Shelter Afrique Estate, another residential estate for the rich, is a Montessori-type institution, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including a music laboratory, sickbay, swimming pool, and cable television for pupils to watch Disney cartoons.

It is stocked with the best of local and foreign textbooks, exotic learning materials and playthings, and manned by a number of highly qualified and motivated administrators and teachers.


Such scenario, common among the children of government officials, wealthy businessmen and elites profiting from the billions of oil revenue accruing to Akwa Ibom, highlights the class distinction characterising this Nigerian state.

It is a sharp contrast with the life lived by the children of the majority who are poor.

Saint John Paul II School, at Shelter Afrique Estate, Uyo, is a clear example of how Nigerian public officials and the elite insulate themselves, and of course their children too, from the consequences of their ineptitude, mismanagement and theft of public funds as well as neglect or destruction of public schools and other institutions.

The school is owned by a former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio who, during his eight-year tenure, presided over the incredible and shameful collapse of classrooms in several public schools and the fallen standard of education in the state, despite the boom in oil revenue.


Akwa Ibom is home to multinational oil companies like Mobil, an affiliate of the American oil giant, ExxonMobil. And because of its contributions to Nigeria’s oil earnings, Akwa Ibom receives more money from the Federation Account every month than each of the other 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

This is beside the revenue the state generates internally.

In five years alone, between 2013 and 2017, the state received N1.029 trillion (about $2.8 billion) from the country’s Federation Account.

And yet several public schools in the state, as shown in other reports published under this series, have broken down, forcing pupils and students, in some cases, to sit on bare floor in roofless classrooms to learn.

Open defecation is a common practice in most public schools in the state because of lack of toilets.

The schools also lack potable water.


It is a common sight in Uyo, the state capital, to see poor, malnourished kids walk barefooted on the streets during school hours, wearing torn and dirty school uniforms – a fallout of a broken system and impoverishing of the populace.

In some poor coastal communities in the state, schools were few and far between and kids have to cross rivers daily, using canoes, to attend schools in some other communities.

The nationwide school feeding programme of the federal government, meant to encourage enrolment and class attendance in public schools, has run into a hitch in Akwa Ibom. The programme has been suspended for about two months now because of numerous petitions from vendors, Ita Okon, the programme’s focal person in the state, told PREMIUM TIMES.


The Akpabios, when they were still the first family in the state, because of safety concern for their only son, converted one of their homes in Ikoyi, Lagos, to a Montessori nursery school for the little boy and persuaded other wealthy parents to enroll their children in the school, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

That was how the idea to establish Saint John Paul II School, Uyo, began, a close associate of the former governor said. The school now has a branch in Lagos, he said.

Today, Saint John Paul II School, with a N175, 000 tuition fee, is one of the most expensive and preferred private schools in the state.

The Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Onofiok Luke, and several state lawmakers like Aniekan Uko (representing Ibesikpo Asutan State Constituency), Monday Eyo (Uyo State Constituency), and Mark Esset (Nsit Atai State Constituency) have their children in the school.

A former commissioner, ministry of Housing and Urban Renewal, and Chairman, Uyo Capital City Development Authority, Enobong Uwah, also has his daughter as pupil in the school.


Apart from Saint John Paul II School, other top-rated private nursery schools in the state patronised by government officials are Rayfield International School, owned by a former Nigerian diplomat from the state (tuition fees is N75,000), Dove International Schools, Monef Schools (N60, 000), Sanvee International Nursery and Primary School (about N80,000 for new pupil, and N60, 000 for old pupil), all in Uyo, and Topfaith Montessori Nursery and Primary School, Essien Udim (N44,000).

All of them, except Sanvee, also operate top-rated secondary schools that are also well-patronised by government officials and the elites.


Governor Udom Emmanuel’s children, PREMIUM TIMES learnt, are in some prestigious private schools in Lagos where he lived and worked as executive director in Zenith Bank before leaving to join politics in 2014.

Unyime Etim, Chairman, Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area, has his ward in a private nursery school called Early Days School, located at Shelter Afrique, Uyo. Ditto Otobong Akpan, member representing Ukanafun State Constituency, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.


Henry Archibong, the member representing Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, has his children in another prestigious private secondary school, Tower of Ivory School, in Abak, Akwa Ibom State, while his first son is studying abroad in a university in China.

School fees in Tower of Ivory range from N300, 000 to N370, 000 per term.

Like the Akpabios, Iniobong Essien, the Commissioner for Environment in the state, owns a nursery school, Seasons International School, Uyo, where some of Governor Emmanuel’s aides have their wards.

These top-rated private schools, aside their aesthetic environment, well-equipped laboratories and libraries, and enough qualified instructors, expose their pupils and students to international examinations like Cambridge IGCSE and other programmes to help them develop self-worth and confidence, and be miles apart from their counterparts in public schools.

In Saint John Paul II School, for instance, pupils in Primary 4 are taught how to construct simple electric circuit and how to use power-point for presentation, something that can never be found in public primary schools, including most public secondary schools, in the state.


Saint John Paul II School has a swimming pool. It teaches its pupils how to swim, and also organises swimming tournaments for them.

No other school, including tertiary institutions in the state, has a swimming pool, according to PREMIUM TIMES findings.

Saint John Paul II School also has literary and leadership day for the pupils.

One of the private secondary schools in the state even introduced American football to its students!

Most private schools in the state have buses which ferry their pupils and students to and from schools, and also arrange regular excursions for them.

Some go as far as introducing American or European curriculum for their pupils and students.

“Our mission is to create a safe and caring environment where every child can grow and develop lifelong learning through quality and holistic educational approach,” Saint John Paul II School says on its website.

“Our adopted Montessori method prepares our pupils to be confident, independent and resourceful learners who would be ready to positively impact our communities.”

Mr Akpabio, who is the Senate Minority Leader, declined comment for this report. His media aide, Anietie Ekong, said he was unwilling to grant press interview, each time this reporter tried to contact the senator.

When PREMIUM TIMES met with the Commissioner for Education, Victor Inoka, he declined comment, saying having just been appointed to office, he was still “studying the situation”.


The trend in Akwa Ibom, as it is in other Nigerian states, is for wealthy parents to send their children to the best universities in the U.S, Europe, and Asia when they are done with their studies in private schools in Nigeria.

“Everybody in the state is drifting towards private schools,” says Owo Etokowo, a management expert in Uyo.

“Previously, it was the rich that would try to send their children to private schools. But now even the poor strive because they know that their children cannot become anything should they continue to study in public schools,” Mr Etokowo said, adding that the situation “is a clear indictment of the quality of education at primary and secondary levels in the state.”

Even the teachers in public schools don’t enroll their children in schools where they teach, says the principal of a Catholic secondary school in Uyo, who tried to explain how bad the situation had grown.


There is a surge in the number of private schools in Akwa Ibom because of the high demand for them.

For instance, the number of private secondary schools in the state was 120 in 2007, up by 106.90 per cent from the previous year, according to the World Data Atlas. The number increased to 422 in 2017, says an official of the state ministry of education.

“It is surely higher than that if we include those ones that are operating without license from the government,” the official said, adding that the number of private nursery/primary schools in the state was as high as 699, as at 2017.

Governor Emmanuel in January 2018 awarded scholarship to 11 children, mostly orphans and homeless kids in the state, to study at the Tower of Ivory Secondary School, Abak, therefore underscoring his preference for private schools and disdain for public schools.

The neglect, decay, and rejection of public schools has created room for people to establish substandard private schools all over the state, according to findings by PREMIUM TIMES.

Seven hundred and eighty-two “illegal” private schools, including a polytechnic, was closed down by the state government in 2017.

“If you go to rural areas you have private schools where pupils pay as low as N3, 000 a term. Such is described as budget schools by the World Bank,” says Mr Etokowo.

“In this case, such schools help children of the poor; it is neither as good as the one high up there nor as bad as what you have in public schools. So, the poor now manage to pay N3, 000 or N5, 000 to put their children in such private schools.”


Tijah Bolton-Akpan, the Executive Director of Policy Alert, a non-governmental organization that focuses on fiscal governance in Akwa Ibom and other states in Nigeria, believes the neglect of public education in the state is a ploy by the elites to undermine the future of the children of the poor.

“The public school is where the ordinary people send their children to and that sector has been suffering.

“We are busy feathering the nest and preparing the future for the children of the elite and undermining the future of the children of the poor. And that is generational poverty being recycled,” Mr Bolton-Akpan told PREMIUM TIMES.

Collins Oscar, author and entrepreneur, says everyone, including the government, teachers, parents, and ordinary citizens, is complicit in the collapse of public education in the state.

What is required to make public schools work in the state, he says, is the same effort everyone has put in to make private schools attractive.

“If the governor of the state finds it very difficult to make at least one public school look as good as a private school, and this same person when he leaves office as a governor, and in less than six months, uses his own money to build a world-class private nursery school, does it mean that he has more money than government?


“This is one reason that makes me believe the state in which we have found our public education today is intentional,” says Mr Oscar, who is the author of a popular book, Idiots With B.Sc.

“The teachers in public schools intentionally offer substandard teaching services to pupils and students. They feel the students there don’t deserve better.

“In our subconscious mind, there’s a way we look at those who attend public schools; we have low expectation of them,” he said.

Poorly funded, ill-equipped, and low-performing teachers in public schools is not peculiar to Akwa Ibom; it is a nationwide malaise.

In Kaduna State, North-west of Nigeria, the Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, is working to persuade senior government officials in the state to enroll their children in government-owned primary and secondary schools, as one of the steps of restoring quality and confidence in public education.


“As we make progress, we will require our senior officials to enroll their children in public schools,” Mr El-Rufai said in a state broadcast in December, 2017. “And I will by personal example ensure that my son that will be six years of age in 2019 is enrolled in a public school in Kaduna State, by God’s grace.”

Akwa Ibom State in particular, and Nigeria, in general, is in for a big trouble that may consume everyone eventually if the broken education system is not fixed now, says UbongAbasi Okon, an Uyo-based web designer.

“Let the rich who send their children to the best schools not even try to think they have escaped the impending doom. After all, we’ve heard that it’s one bad apple that spoils a bunch.

“The truth is that products of broken schools will soon be among those driving the Nigerian system, and you can imagine what kind of disaster await us as a people.

“In fact, we are already living with the effects of this, where you now have many youths assigned the role of vote stealing and hired killings during elections. The truth is that our society designs such ignoble path for youths who don’t have the opportunity to get the best of education, and so they must do the dirty jobs for little a little reward.”

When this reporter contacted the state lawmaker, Mark Esset, to ask about the possibility of enacting a law which could compel public officers to send their children to public schools, he said the choice of school for kids was a personal issue for every parent.

“When it comes to my family, it’s a private thing,” says Mr. Esset while admitting the poor state of infrastructures in public primary and secondary schools in his Nsit Atai Constituency. “I know what I want for my children.


“The children of my constituents, they have parents! All fingers are not equal. What the parents can afford for them is what they do.”

“You can’t say you make a law that if I can afford to eat stockfish, I should not eat it because other people are not eating stockfish.

“Before I became a public office holder, my children were already in private schools; my children are not in private schools because I am a public office holder.”

Source: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/271310-investigation-collapse-of-public-schools-inside-the-first-class-schools-children-of-akwa-ibom-elite-attend.html

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Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by Blue3k2: 3:30pm On Jun 06
Private schools for politicians and wealthy families.
Note this school is owned by former governor Akpabio. #uncommontransformation






Public schools for masses. #udomisworking #udomat3


The science lab, Ntiat and Mbak 1 Comprehensive Sec Sch, Itu (Photo taken by Cletus Ukpong)

Pupils sleeping on cold, bare floor at Annang Peoples Primary School, Ikot Iyire, Ukpom Abak,(Photo taken by Cletus Ukpong)

Front Page: Lalasticlala

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Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by mybestlove(m): 3:35pm On Jun 06
Horribly horrible.
Better day ahead

We haven't gotten government in Nigeria yet. What government can't do, individuals are doing it in n 1000 folds.

No transparency and accountability.
Loot the treasury and go free.

I was in Owerri and I wept for Imo state.
That state is finished and crippled economically while the governor now owns those assets that the state boosted of in the past.

There was really a country.

FTC dedicated to the Benue/Taraba martyrs

23 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by Blue3k2: 6:38pm On Jun 06
What aspect of public education is working in Akwa Ibom. Even the governors most staunch supporters dont send their children to public schools. They can only say he's trying while they fork over cash private schools owned by the same politicians who wrecked public education.

•schools are understaffed
•building in shambles
•teachers arent being paid (gratuity)
•shortage of schools

Front Page: Lalasticlala

26 Likes 1 Share

Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by GuyfawkesAB(m): 7:14pm On Jun 06
Akpabio werey

15 Likes 1 Share

Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by manutdrichie(m): 7:23pm On Jun 06
the last picture though

you mean you made those kids lay on the floor just because to want to discredit Udom Emmanuel?

i insist Udom till 2023 grin

49 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by yemmight(m): 7:30pm On Jun 06
Let them continue to treat their fellow human like this. One thing that is very certain is that, before Almighty God over there, these people they have treated badly will leave like kings and queens. God is not human.

37 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by Naturalobserver(m): 8:26pm On Jun 06
Sincerely i only viewed pictures
Write up is too long

53 Likes

Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by Oceannaagent: 8:26pm On Jun 06
She has her textbooks and writing materials inside her backpack. She also has bottled water, juice, biscuits, and a lunch box filled with cooked noodles to be eaten at school during break hour.

As if the reporter searched her lunch box to know whats inside.

38 Likes 1 Share

Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by chuksanambra: 8:28pm On Jun 06
manutdrichie:
the last picture though

you mean you made those kids lay on the floor just because to want to discredit Udom Emmanuel?

i insist Udom till 2023 grin

For you to be supporting this madness, one would think your father stole money and kept for you to spend somewhere but I doubt so. Looking at your picture, I see at least 5 generations of poverty etched on your face.

With your head like that of a catfish and your neck like a funnel, I doubt if sense can enter your head again.

One would think you are one rich man or beneficiary of corruption but no, you're just a poverty-stricken young man who is hawking Thailand visa. WTF is Thailand visa? Can Akopabio's children go there? Can Udom's children go there? The way you're going, your children won't be allowed to enter that Thailand cos they'll ban them for your foolishness.

At your age, you should learn to stand for something noble. How can you see those kids sleep out there in the cold on the icy floor and say it's to discredit Udom?

Richard Akpabuyo, big head is not sense and your case just proved that.

You just spoilt my mood tonight.

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Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by veacea: 8:28pm On Jun 06
Okay
Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by Buffalowings3(m): 8:28pm On Jun 06
This coumtry tire me

Watch as zombies start frothing saying at least they feed them daily grin

Modified

I just read the article
The situation is dire in Akwa ibom state.
1.0 trillion naira burnt as special offering. Ibomites deserve answers.

Igbos im warning you dont ever bad mouth Aregbe. Leave that to us alone. grin

3 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by SmartPolician: 8:28pm On Jun 06
Ok. It's a good thing that they have a good school to keep them in the state. But they should make sure they effectively eliminate Akwa Ibom-infected English accent because it sounds disgusting to the ear

5 Likes

Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by EngrMcDon(m): 8:28pm On Jun 06
Too bad,
Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by Dave0116(m): 8:29pm On Jun 06
FTC
Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by 1shortblackboy: 8:29pm On Jun 06
so we been just dey praise Akpabio for nothing? and what is that Udom Emmanuel doing there sef

4 Likes

Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by Blue3k2: 8:29pm On Jun 06
Naturalobserver:
Sincerely i only viewed pictures
Write up is too long

Lol get a text reader app for long investigative reports like these. I recommend @voice aloud for Android. The article has plenty of good quotes.

3 Likes

Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by SHOPPERS(m): 8:29pm On Jun 06
My children will be privileged.

To my unborn kids,

Don't worry guys, this is the reason I'm working so hard before settling to call you forth.

I wonder how much it will cost the various levels of government to clear up the rottenness in our educational system.

This is our future being mortgaged away. If these ones are not given the best now and eventually grow up to become irresponsible members of the society, it will still come back to hit us in the future.
Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by Obudupikin: 8:29pm On Jun 06
Premiumtimes is doing a wonderful job. I applaud them.

To the topic; this situation in Akwa Ibom is a microcosm of the Nigeria society. This pattern can be observed from the deserts of the North,where kids of the poor are actively encouraged to go to Arabic schools (if they must be educated at all) whilst the children of the elites study in Ivy colleges overseas, to the creeks of the South where the children of the poor are only good enough to be political thugs while the rich kids live flamboyant life styles in and outside the country.

The political class deliberately keep the masses poor,deprive them of basic necessities of life,so that they remain docile as the common wealth is being used to live a life of opulence by them. When questions start being asked by a few that are enlightened, this same political class use the many who lack enlightenment to cause chaos. Ironically, this many that are being used are also victims of the system. Religion and ethnic cards are brought to play to keep the people divided and distracted from the real enemy.

Until many more become enlightened, things will remain the same. And by enlightened I don't mean educated because I have seen in here a lot of educated folks who are unenlightened as I have met uneducated people who see through the facade of the shady political class.

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Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by Damfostopper(m): 8:30pm On Jun 06
2 long to read....

2 Likes

Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by CaptVerida(m): 8:30pm On Jun 06
English too much I just dy stroll down since...I neva even see d pictures yet...

1 Like

Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by EasterDell: 8:30pm On Jun 06
So make we fry beans!
.
.
.
APC and PDP will keep having foolish supporters until they fully privatize Nigeria. The black man is still too dumb!

We need recolonisation.

1 Like

Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by SonsOfLiverpool(m): 8:30pm On Jun 06
Sh*t hole
Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by Speakdatruth: 8:30pm On Jun 06
Looks like schools wey dey kano

1 Like

Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by sean1000x: 8:30pm On Jun 06
Beautiful Biafran children. You notice how they look fresh like Igbos? Because they are same people, one blood and DNA. Do they look like Afonjas to you? Do Afonjas look this fresh? We are not the same people and we should stop deceiving ourselves in One Nigeria. Afonja OP

1 Like 1 Share

Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by neonly: 8:31pm On Jun 06
Too bad don't worry let push buhari out first then willl come for d governor der is power in social media
Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by Ermacc: 8:31pm On Jun 06
Blue3k2:
What aspect of public education is working in Akwa Ibom. Even the governors most staunch supporters dont send their children to public schools. They can only say he's trying while they fork over cash private schools owned by the same politicians who wrecked public education.

•schools are understaffed
•building in shambles
•teachers arent being paid (gratuity)
•shortage of schools

Front Page: Lalasticlala
Have you been to other Nigerian states? You will realise that their public schools are 10x worse. I've noted that all you do is paint an extremely bad image of the Akwa Ibom state government. What ever personal grievance you have with either Akpabio or the present Governor shouldn't obstruct objectivity in your thought process. Keep on shielding your dark hatred with your so called investigative reports.

2 Likes

Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by ThatHistoryGuy(m): 8:31pm On Jun 06
In life its either you roll with the rich while the poor complain about you forgetting them or you stick with poverty while the rich sh!t on you.
Pick a side
Life itself is unfair . grin

5 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by tiwasiaife(m): 8:31pm On Jun 06
St John Paul II school is a Catholic institution and not owned by private individual.

3 Likes

Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by neonly: 8:32pm On Jun 06
SHOPPERS:
My children will be privileged.

To my unborn kids,

Don't worry guys, this is the reason I'm working so hard before settling to call you forth.
Me toooooo
Re: Inside The First-Class Schools Children Of Akwa Ibom Elite Attend by Sochimaobim(m): 8:32pm On Jun 06
One of the major problems with Nigeria is that there is a HUGE gap between the rich and the poor. It becomes very frustrating for those who fall on the wrong side of the divide.

11 Likes

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