An appeal has gone to the Delta State governor, Sen. Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, government agencies at both state and federal levels and multi national oil companies to come to the aid of the Kokodiagbene Model Secondary School by providing the needed infrastructures that will boost the academic performance of her students.
Chairman of Kokodiagbene Community in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, Comr Sheriff Mulade made this plea on Saturday, 2nd September 2017 during the common entrance examination conducted by the school for students seeking admission into the institution of learning.
In his remark to the parents and pupils who were present in the community town hall, he reemphasized the importance of education and the roles certain indigenes of Gbaramatu have been playing in making sure that illiteracy and other social vices most especially militancy is eradicated.
Comr. Sheriff informed the gathering that about 200 students applied for the common entrance examination, some of whom he said were from Burutu axis, Ogbe-Ijor, Warri North as well as other urban cities within and outside Delta state.
The Chairman informed the related gathering that while 45 of the students were nominated by Mr. Matthew Tonlagha and the Tompolo Foundation for scholarships, the other students would be taken care of by the community.
In his words, “We are trying to do our best to see that we give the best to these students. For Matthew Tonlagha and the Tompolo Foundation, education is a very great challenge to many hence, we need to do the needful. They see education as a problem. Education remains the means to eradicate militancy, poverty and other challenges we are confronting in this area.
The Chairman further stated that they have come up with scholarships for 45 students in this area. The other numbers of the students which cut across Warri North, Burutu axis, Ogbe-Ijor, urban cities across this area and outside the state will be taken care of by community efforts. “So, it’s a unique school with a unique arrangement. And I want to use this medium to call on the governor of Delta State to come to the aid of the people of Kokodiagbene by constructing the hostel facilities that have been approved by the governor at the State Security Council meeting because the governor some months ago awarded and approved the Kokodiagbene boarding facilities. But up till this moment, the government keeps paying lip service to it. So, we are appealing to governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the government of Delta State to kindly help us to enable us to accommodate these students because the number is beyond our expectation.
According to him, “not only the government of Delta State. There are other government agencies like NDDC and the IOCs operating in our areas. We need them to partner with us to provide infrastructures like hostel facilities to accommodate the students, facilities for teachers such as corpers lodge, portable drinking water, some stationeries like desks, ICT facilities, laboratories and the rest. In fact, every thing you see here in this premises were provided by us through community support.”
In the same token, the Chairman of the Education Committee, Mr. Pedro Bekenawei while speaking on the conduct of the examination also stressed the need for government and other stakeholders to support the community’s initiative to help boost education as well as eradicate illiteracy in the area.
According to him, “The process is very clear. Our aim is to ensure that in the next few years illiteracy will be a thing of the past.
He emphasized that, “we have both the Ijaws as students and non-indigenes such as Urhobos, Yorubas, Ibos, Isokos, Benin, and others. Everything for them is free; school uniforms, feeding, and accommodation is free. Their academic performance is excellent as we ensure they get the best teachers to deliver.”
GbaramatuVoice correspondent also spoke to some of the parents who were full of appreciations to the initiators as well as calling on the state government to play its role to encourage education in the area.
It could be recalled that the Kokodiagbene Model Secondary School was first initiated by the Chairman, Comr. Sheriff Mulade in 2008 when he was then the General Secretary of the community.
The school boasts of boarding facilities, the first of its kind in the Gbaramatu Kingdom. It also boasts of qualified teachers, a highly peaceful environment, and a disciplined learning system that attracts parents from far and near to patronize the school, thereby leading to the growth in its population from about 150 to well over 300 students.