Can anything good come out of Nazareth? This question was answered by two brothers Imode Miracle and Imode Clinton, students of Gana Mixed Secondary, Sapele, who emerged from the near-collapse of the dilapidated school to scoop bronze medals in the National Youths Games in Ilorin, Kwara state.
The prowess of Miracle and Clinton in the game of Scrabble that requires serious mental rigours prompted our Correspondent to trace the Bronze medalists to their school only to discover the sorry state of the academic institution that has turned into a jungle of some sort.
Sapele is one of the urban cities in Delta state. It is known for several reasons. It used to be the host of the defunct AT& P Company and the moribund seaport among others. The town boasts of several schools which have produced great minds in all spheres of human endeavour. One of the schools in the area, is Gana Mixed Secondary School, Sapele.
The road leading to the school leaves much to be desired as the road is usually flooded when it rains forcing staff and students to swim the pool of waters to access the school currently in a deplorable shape as the classrooms are now homes to shrubs and reptiles where area boys now smoke Indian-hemp and engage in nefarious activities even when the school is in session.
Interestingly, the school has continued to produce medalists in the National Youths Sports festival. At the 2018 and the just concluded 2021 National Youths Games in Ilorin, Kwara state, two brothers, 15-yr old Imode Miracle and 13-yr old Emodi Clinton, both SS3 and SS2 students of the school won bronze medals in scrabble as part of the state’s contingent at the games.
Miracle and Clinton said that despite the decay of infrastructure in the school, they were motivated by the desire to make their parents and the state proud.
However, the school that produced the Bronze medallist, established over 20 years ago is a sharp contrast to the brilliance exuded by Miracle and Clinton.
Delta state currently has a total of 474 public secondary schools and as of May 29, 2021, 8,617 classroom blocks and administrative buildings have been renovated and reconstructed by the Okowa-led administration. However, despite this massive intervention in the educational sector, students of Gana Mixed Secondary School, Sapele are begging the government at all levels, corporate bodies and philanthropists to come to their rescue.
Students study under leaking roofs during the rainy season while teachers now use the corridors of the dilapidated buildings as temporary office space as the building housing the staff room and the principal’s office is completely uninhabitable. There are also no laboratory, library and toilet facilities as both teachers and students practise open defecation in the nearby bushes.
The absence of a perimeter fence in the school has made the school a thoroughfare and a hideout for criminals thereby creating room for hoodlums to regularly break into the school and cart away valuables.
Investigation revealed that the school has been abandoned for several years. Some students of the school, Odibo Emmanuel and Mekuleyi Sade lament the situation and called for immediate intervention to address the decay.
It was gathered that the Chief Inspector of Education, Sapele Local Government Area, Moritan Daniel has profiled the current state of the school to the authorities in Asaba for immediate attention but no visible evidence on the ground to that effect.
Speaking on the deplorable condition of infrastructure in the school, the state Commissioner for Secondary Education, Mrs Rose Ezewu and the Chairman, Delta State House of Assembly Committee on Education, Hon. Charles Emetulu while expressing concern over the issue stated that the state government is making effort to address the situation.
The member representing Sapele Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Hon Felix Anirah blamed the inability of the Gana mixed quarters to ensure the protection of government property to the delay in his preparedness to personally intervene in the situation.
He cited the Ethiope Mixed Secondary School Sapele, which he renovated two years ago but engaged security men in collaboration with stakeholders in the area to secure the facilities.
However, the Chairman of the Gana Mixed Quarters, Sapele, where the school is sited, Mr Robinson Eriamala popularly known as Babylon is of a different opinion.
As at the time of this report, there is only one block serving as both classroom and staff room even as teachers now sit on the verandas as their temporary office.