The conditions of learning experienced by pupils in most primary School across Benue state has reach a pathetic stage as most pupils in this 21st century are still sitting on bare floor to receive their lectures even within Makurdi metropolis.
In identifying with the plight of these pupils, the Catholic relief services; SMILE project in collaboration with the Benue state Universal Basic Education Board, (SUBEB), ministry of Women affairs and the Diocesan Development Society with support from USAID Thursday, donated 120 learning dual desk to Holy Family Primary School Kanshio and Christian Academy Tse-Orkaa all in Makurdi local government area of Benue state to ease their plight
Making the donation, the coordinator of SMILE, Dr Anoje Emeka said the program is designed to scale- up care and support to vulnerable children and care givers in five states which include ,Benue, Kogi Nasarawa, Edo and FCT.
” Currently SMILE is being implemented in 17 LGAs of Benue state and is working with ,18 CSOs with a target to reach 270,000 children alongsice caregivers.
we are working with the state ministries of Women Affairs and Social Development in the five states and 49 local Civil Society Organizations to ensure a coordinated provision of quality, comprehensive and sustainable services to 600,000 children and 150,000 caregivers”
Explaining the rationale behind the donation, Dr Anoje said the association has conducted a needs assessment of schools in Benue in selected local government which findings revealed some gaps in infrastructure such as absence or poor state of classroom furniture which hinders effective learning, specifically chairs and desk.
He also advocated for increased commitment and funding for universal Basic Education in the state which he said is a fundamental right of every child.
Commissioning the donation, at the Holy Family Primary school, Kanshio, the executive secretary, SUBEB,Dr Philip Tachin described the gesture of the association as overwhelming, saying, it has wipe away the tears in one of his eyes.
” I can say that the gesture by SMILE has wipe away the tears in one of my eyes because that is an area where we have a lot of challenges in terms of desk and chairs in our schools across the state, infrastructural wise, we have tried, but we are yet to solve the problems of chairs and desks and promise to continue where the association has stop”
He charged the management of the school to be good managers of the properties entrusted in their care.
It could be recalled that the executive secretary of SUBEB Dr Tachin when ask how much does SUBEB received from UBEC, from January 2017 to date and the condition involved for the release of the funds, he disclosed that the state is in the process of accessing the 2016/2017 grant.
“We are in the process of accessing the the 2016/2017 grant, so just be patient till the end of November and then we will talk if need be” Tachin stated.