Obaseki Orders Closure of Dilapidated Schools In Edo

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Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki

• Relocates pupils, teachers of Holy Aruosa Primary School

The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has ordered the immediate relocation of pupils and teachers in the school to nearby Agbado Primary School in Benin City.

Obaseki also ordered shutdown immediate of all schools of all primary and secondary schools with dilapidated structures across the state to pave way for reconstruction work.

These orders are coming on the heels of a video of pupils of Arousa Primary School studying under highly deplorable conditions went viral on social media.

Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, in a statement on Thursday, said the state government has relocated the pupils and teachers of Holy Aruosa Primary School to Agbado Primary School “following the unfortunate development the School”.

According to the statement, “All such schools, with dilapidated structures have been shut down with immediate effect. Students and pupils in the affected schools are hereby relocated to other schools that will be announced soon.
The state government has ordered an investigation to ascertain why the initial relocation order of the pupils with their teachers was not enforced.
The Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., visited Holy Aruosa Primary School as early as 7 A. M. on Thursday, to announce the state government’s decision.”

According to Osagie, Holy Aruosa Primary School was earlier shut down by the state government and the pupils and teachers relocated to another school. Government is shocked that her order was not carried out. One of the allegations being investigated is the suspicion that some teachers, who are refusing to be transferred out of the school, selfishly kept those kids in the school under unsafe condition.

“However, it is pertinent to note that on assumption of office in November 2016, Governor Godwin Obaseki ordered an inventory of facilities and the enumeration of primary and secondary schools in the state. After the census, the schools were categorised into three: those in grade A are in good condition; those in B need little intervention and schools in grade C require total renovation.

“It is obvious that Holy Aruosa Primary School and Osula Primary School, among others, fell in the third category and require urgent attention. The worst of them like Holy Aruosa were shut down.
As is the culture of this administration, groundwork has already begun for this renovation process to commence, as only few months ago bid rounds were held for the rehabilitation of some of these schools.”

He said the renovation work is expected to cover 1,200 public schools in the state, with the first batch of 230 schools captured in the pilot phase of the exercise.

“It is also pertinent to state that there is need for communities to join forces to protect renovated schools. It is common knowledge that the immediate past administration renovated and remodelled a good number of schools, but sadly, a lot of them have been vandalised and the facilities looted by hoodlums.

“We assure that work will soon commence at these schools within Benin metropolis and other parts of the state, and call on communities to protect the structures as soon as they’re built.”

“The state government will expedite action on the renovation work to ensure that our pupils learn in conducive environment, even as we roll out the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo BEST) programme to some of these schools in coming weeks.”

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