The sorry sight of Government Primary School, Ikot Ntuk in Oruk Anam is both pathetic and unbelievable yet, real with pupils scampering on uncemented floors and broken ceilings to learn.
The desk-less dilapidated Primary School located in front of a forest, is without Perimeter fencing, windows, doors, library, convenience and generally devoid of the ambience of a school, safe for a classroom block donated by the House Leader, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Sir) Udo Keiran Akpan.
The school which is about 45 poles away from Oruk Anam Local Government Headquarters in Ikot Ibritam, is situated in one of the acclaimed 5 urban villages in the area without a trace of an electric pole, graded road, Hospital/Health Post/Pharmacy/Chemist and market.
Accessible through Ekparakwa junction to Urua Anwa, the community is a 10 minutes drive from the left of the Urua Anwa junction.
Surprisingly, the Local Government is home to Rt. Hon. (Sir) Udo Keiran Akpan, Leader of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly; Commissioner for Education, Hon. Idongesit Etiebet; Sen. Itak Ekarika; Chairman, Akwa Ibom Environmental Protection and Waste Management Agency, Prince Akpan Ikim; Hon. Sampson Idiong, Hon. Paul Udofia, Mr. Okoko, Iboro Udom, Wife of the Chief of Staff to Governor Udom Emmanuel, Mrs. Ime Ephraim Inyang and Her Excellency, Dr. Martha Udom Emmanuel, whose paternal home is just a stone throw from Ikot Ntuk.
On arrival at the school, reporters were received by the Headmaster, Mr. Monday Benson Udoh who showed them round the school’s bushy premises.
“We have so many challenges, one of which is the dearth of teachers. We have just 4 teachers plus myself teaching 300 pupils. We do not have toilets or water to even wash our hands after writing on the chalk board”, he said.
“This big school field is cleared by these pupils and it takes them weeks to complete the cutting which is not good for them. We need lawn mowers to get this done”.
“This is a government school. Things shouldn’t be this bad. We need more teachers here. We also need enough desks so that pupils will sit on them and not sit on the floor. Even more, we need the floors to be cemented. Imagine coming to school with neat uniforms and returning home dirty because of sitting on the dusty ground”, the Head Master said.
When asked if he has made attempts at reporting the deplorable condition of the school to the Ministry of Education, the Head Master replied in the affirmative.“We have sent letters time without number but all we hear is that they (the Ministry) will do something about it and that’s all.
While lamenting the long years of neglect and deprivation of basic amenities, a former Youth President of the community, Nsese Michael Ukwok informed that Ikot Ntuk is the second largest vote basket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oruk Anam.
“We need rehabilitation of our Primary school. We need the government to come to our aid; Sir. Udo Keiran constructed a classroom block for us, without which our children would have been sitting under the mango tree. The grownups trek long distances to go to Secondary School at Ikot Ibritam, Ikot Afanga or Ukanafun because we have none”, he said.