An Address By The President, Government Secondary School, Afaha Eket (Gssae) Alumni Association, Mr. Aniekan Willie, During A Courtesy Call On The Honourable Commissioner For Education, Professor Nse Essien On Thursday, August 8, 2019.
It is my privilege on behalf of the Executive Committee and members of the Alumni Association of Government Secondary School Afaha Eket to be here today on this courtesy visit. It is the first we have had with any government official at your level since this association came into being.
First, we like you to convey our congratulations to our beloved leader, His Excellency, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, on his second term as Governor of Akwa Ibom State. We commend him for sustaining the free and compulsory education policy in the state.
Sir, we congratulate you on your re-appointment as a member of the State Executive Council and your assignment to the Ministry of Education. We are confident, given your track record, that you will bring your wealth experience and enthusiasm to bear on the development of the education sector of the state.
Let me equally convey the deep gratitude of the Alumni Association for your support in attracting to our alma mater the ICT laboratory in your previous tenure as Science and Technology Commissioner. We also thank you for honouring our invitation through a representation to the 2019 Reunion of our Alumni Association during which we inaugurated the re-constructed 16-classroom block built by the Association and also presented several awards to deserving students who graduated from our alma mater in the 2018/2019 academic session as well as former teaching and non-teaching staff who impacted positively on the students.
Honourable Commissioner, what is now known as the Alumni Association of Government Secondary School, Afaha Eket came into being in August 2015, a few months after the inauguration of the administration of His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel. We saw the need to align with the vision of the new administration then and in direct response to the Dakada call.
Accordingly, we set for ourselves the key objective of raising the standard of academic excellence in the school and supporting our students in their academic pursuits. In this regard, we are pleased to inform you that in the past three and a half years, the Alumni Association has worked tirelessly to ensure cogent deliverables around key priority areas, in addition to serving as a rallying point for many of our old students.
We are happy to inform you that one of our most significant and visible signature projects has been the rehabilitation and reconstruction of an abandoned 16-classroom block which was already facing demolition threat due to its dysfunctional state. However, in the face of burgeoning students’ population and shortage of classroom space, the Alumni Association took on the challenge of salvaging the situation. Many of our members volunteered time, technical skills and financial resources running into several millions of naira to ensure that the project was completed within reasonable time and budget. As already stated, the Alumni Association formally handed over the fully re-constructed classroom block to the school authority during our Reunion last month.
Another impactful programme introduced and jealously executed by the Alumni Association has been the annual sponsorship and mentorship/reward programme, which seeks to encourage academic excellence in our students as well as encourage academic and non-academic staff to remain diligent in the discharge of their functions. Many old students and their families have endowed all the academic subjects as well as other special areas. We are constantly innovating and looking for partnering organizations and groups to help broaden the scope of this programme as we look forward to expanding its frontiers in the years to come.
We are encouraged to do this by the fact that Government Secondary School, Afaha Eket, has continued to maintain high academic standards by winning many laurels and performing well in Science competitions and examinations at the state and national levels.
AREAS CRYING FOR INTERVENTIONS
- Presently, the school population stands at 4,538 with an average of 130 students in a class. This is alarming when compared to only 42 teaching staff, 10 non-teaching staff and augmented with 127 NYSC members and 10 N-power staff. This implies that the school needs more classrooms, more qualified teachers and non-academic staff.
- We have observed that the school is constantly being challenged by the repeated issue of encroachment and land grabbing by indigenes of the area due to the absence of delineated perimeter fence. This has exposed the students and staff, especially those who live within the school premises, to the risk of insecurity.
- Presently, the school has no functional library. What passes as the library is nothing compared to standards set by both national and international education regulatory bodies.
- On rainy days, both students and staff cannot enter the school because of the flood at the school gate.
Sir, it is with this background that the Alumni Association seeks your kind intervention and support in the following areas:
- Construction of a classroom block to help with the decongestion of the already over-populated classrooms.
- Urgent intervention through the assignment of additional academic and non-academic staff to the school in view of the increased enrolment in the school
- Construction of a perimeter fence or wall to enhance the security of lives and property in the school and discourage further encroachment into the school land.
- Provision of more hostel spaces for the students
- Completion of the school’s amphitheatre project abandoned many years ago.
On our part, the Alumni Association is working on the possibility of effecting complete rebuilding of the school’s Assembly Hall which today has almost collapsed.
Finally, we assure you that we will continue to contribute to the development of our alma mater and by extension, the success of the free and compulsory education policy of the State Government. We thank you for your attention.