Magnus Eze, Enugu
There seems to be an unwritten agreement to arrest the dwindling standard of education in Okposi, one of the founding communities of Old Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi state.
Recently, two groups of young people in the area made commendable interventions in public schools in the area.
While the Okposi Education Initiative (OEI) once again, rewarded best students with 300 books and other prizes; an entirely new group, Okposi Okwu Patriotic Platform, delivered a totally renovated classroom block to Central School, Okposi Okwu.
Coordinator, Anuagata Development Centre, Chief Ogbonnaya Amos, who inaugurated the building, described the group’s gesture as heart-warming and commendable.
According to him, it had been the prayer of the community that its sons and daughters who made it in life should come back home and give back to the community.
Amos said: “Most of the structures you find here are old and dilapidated; they have been here since the ’60, so, they need to be renovated and in some cases, new ones are required. And those of us who schooled here did so because of the effort of those before us. So, I am so happy and impressed with the new reawakening of giving back to the community.
“I thank the Okposi Okwu Patriots; and know that with the appreciation we’ve shown them that as God blesses them, they would even do more. I also call on others to see the need to emulate these patriots. My message is: come back and give back to your community, so that collectively, we’ll have good and peaceful society.”
Also, highly elated traditional ruler of Avu Na Okwu autonomous community, Onyiba Chuku Agwu, said that it was like a dream come true for him: “I feel highly excited that this kind of thing is happening in my community during my time as the traditional ruler. I see it as a divine intervention by God to help the community develop faster. For the community to be endowed with this crop of young people desirous to sacrifice their money; time and talent for the development of the community is a unique gesture.”
Equally excited was the head teacher of the school, Ngozi Theresa Okike, who lacked words to express her joy.
On behalf of the staff and pupils, she prayed God to replenish the source of the gesture in million folds; and added, “For them to have remembered us, God shall continue to remember every one of them.”
Earlier in a brief remark, Coordinator of the group of Okposi Okwu patriots, Mr Okey Okoroafor, disclosed that the 14-member body would not relent in supporting laudable initiatives in the community.
Similarly, the Okposi Education Initiative, founded in 2011 by a group of 14 young professionals restated its commitment to promoting education in Okposi Ezin’Asato.
This year’s event marked the 9th edition of its flagship activity, the Annual Reward for Academic Excellence (RACE).
Top three students in academics in all the classes across the nine public secondary schools in the community were awarded English and Mathematics textbooks each. The awardees also received writing materials including pens, mathematical set and ruler depending on their position.
Daily Sun gathered that the Ukpa Nwankwo Memorial Prize was also issued to the best student in Agricultural Sciences in each school in memory of a founding member of the initiative who died eight years ago.
Earlier, Chairman of the group, Dr. Nnanna Agwu, announced a new prize for the best SS3 students; saying that OEI will pay for their 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) forms.
The 142 winners of the awards were selected based on their performance in the 2018/2019 internal examinations in their respective schools. The award presentation was done in the respective schools to the admiration of their teachers and other students. Over 2,700 textbooks and 10,000 writing materials have been distributed to more than 900 most outstanding students schooling in the community. So far, over 60% of the beneficiaries are girls.
In his remarks, the initiator and former Chairman of the group, Dr. Laz Ude Eze congratulated the students and encouraged them to remain shining stars anywhere they find themselves in life. “This activity is nostalgic for me and brings back the memories of my primary and secondary school days when I received similar awards. I understand the feeling, nothing beats it and it’s a major catalyst for sustainable hard work and push for success,” Dr. Eze added. He assured that the 10th edition of the awards will be bigger and better than the previous ones.