From Judex Okoro, Calabar
Succour came the way of more than 1,000 pupils in Calabar metropolis as Rotary Club Calabar inaugurated multimillion-naira intervention projects at PCN Primary School and Nigeria Centre for Women Societies School.
While the PCN Primary School along IBB Way in Calabar, with a population of 608 students, is a beneficiary of a six-room VIP toilet, two overhead tanks and a motorized borehole with a standby generator, the Nigeria Centre for Women Societies School at Ediba in Calabar Municipality, which has about 400 pupils, benefitted from the ultramodern ICT building.
The intervention projects are aimed at creating conducive atmosphere for pupils to learn and also help the state in actualising one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Speaking in Calabar during the inauguration of the projects, the president of the Rotary Club of Calabar, Dr. Kajogbola Gbenga, said the aim of the projects is to have better students and a better nation.
Gbenga added that it is part of being rotary to do these projects because they are a service based organisation and all they do is to render service.
He said: “The ICT centre is a demonstration of our areas of focus as covered by the basic education and literacy while the WASH project at PCN Primary school mirrors our intervention as contained in the water, sanitation and hygiene areas of focus.
“The ICT lab will help cushion the students’ lack of basic computer knowledge while the water project will help mitigate the spread of infections. Rotary’s intervention is also borne out of the fact that in this digital age, a child must have basic computer skills and a child that does not know computer no matter how intelligent will fail.”
Also, the past district governor, Akabom Enebong, said the projects were in line with the aims of Rotary, which is serving society, promoting integrity and advancing world peace. He advised the benefiting schools to take ownership of the projects and properly maintain them.
He commended the benefiting schools for the projects, saying they would not be possible without their cooperation.
On his part, Paul Umoh, a director of information at the state ministry of ICT, commended Rotary for the intervention saying it will go a long way in helping the children.
He emphasised that maintenance is key and urged the management of the institution to work with the ICT unit to ensure the students make maximum use of the ICT centre.
In their response, the Vice President of NCWS, Ntoe Ekong Bassey Oqua, applauded Rotary for the plans they have for the children.
She said: “We are delighted to witness this and we have nothing to say but thank you. The ICT centre is a laudable initiative and we appeal to the teachers to instruct the children properly.
“They should guard the computers very well and ensure that they live up to their life span. There is need for the NCWS to come from time to time to see what is going on with the school and we give you our word that we will do that.”
Joshua Usoro, the principal of NCWS Schools, said: “Before now, we struggled to teach the children computer and this project has come to take away that struggle. We can teach them now with ease with the 10 systems provided in the center.
“We appreciate the club for this because this is not the first project we have benefitted. We have benefitted classroom blocks, water projects, and our school with over 400 students is like a baby for the club.”
The principal of PCN Primary School, Juliet Patrick, said the pupils were crossing the highway to fetch water and that is a thing of the past, adding that with the VIP toilets and water projects, learning would improve in the school and the school will maintain the projects alongside the PTA.
Also commending Rotary for having good plans for the children of the community, Ntoe Ekong Bassey Oqua, the clan head of Big Qua, Ntoe Ekong Bassey Oqua, said the community is elated that they provided the NCWS land for the school many years ago and they are making the most of it.