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EXPOSED: Jonathan’s Alma Mater In Otuoke Is In The State Of Decay

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Otuoke, Bayelsa State, is a well-known town both in Nigeria and abroad due to the fact that it is the hometown of President Goodluck Jonathan.
A really remarkable place is the first school of the president, St. Stephen’s Primary School (now State School). A senior correspondent of The Nation has visited the 77-year-old school, and shared his revealing experience with the readers.
What is really notable is that the State School are currently learning under unpleasant conditions and have to trek a long distance before using a lavatory.
The History
St. Stephen’s Primary School was founded in 1937 by missionaries.
It has produced several reputed people, among whom are President Goodluck Jonathan and a former member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, the current monarch of Imiringi, HRH Augustus Elliot Osomu. It as was Primary One to Three at that
time. After completing Primary Three in the school, Jonathan then moved to St. Michael’s Primary School, Oloibiri, to continue his Primary education.
It was moved to its present place around the late 80s and its name has been changed as well.
The school is next-door neighbour to President Jonathan’s Country Villa, and it is directly opposite the Anglican Church on the Yenagoa/ Otuoke Road. The Federal University Otuoke (FUO) is also not
far from it.
The Decay
Despite its good location and history the school is in a state of disrepair. The pupils often suffer the harsh rays penetrating into their room and are drenched, especially when it rains heavily; leading to
concurrent feverish conditions.
No Chairs
In some classes, blackboards are held up by wooden or plastic chairs or tables; the floor and ceiling boards have cracks in them; and there are not enough benches and chairs to go round. As a result, the pupils are
forced to receive lectures sitting on dusty bare floors. Students keep fighting for proper seats all the time. The standard rate is about 10 benches and chairs for a class of 60 pupils.
Toilet Problems
The school lacks pipe-borne water and has no restrooms for both staff and pupils. The two buildings meant for toilets have been long abandoned, because they were not properly finished. Pupils are left with no option than to use the wooden community toilets faraway on the creeks that would take about 10 minute-walk or more, which may also take longer for a child, to reach.
The Government Should Act
The government should obviously help the school. The simplest way to improve the situation – just to deliver chairs. However, an official of the Bayelsa State Universal Basic Education Board told The
Nation that Otuoke has the best schools in the whole area and the reporter had probably visited the wrong school, which was abandoned long ago.

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