*Quarrels verbally with reporter for trying to expose extortion on phone
By Cletus Opukeme and Lucky Ojigbo
It’s no more news that many schools in Delta State are in new comatose situation and that the state government is virtually doing little or knew nothing to help the situation but the shocking news is the battle by the Commissioner for basic education, Mrs Rose Ezewu to help perpetuate the menace of arbitrariness and insensitive exploitations that was witnessed by Daily Watch reporters who toured almost all the schools in the State during the period of admission into JSS 1 and SSS 1 in schools in the state.
This brings to the mind boggling questions how many Delta state journalists visit public schools in the state to tell the deplorable state of public schools? How many parents make out time to pay a visit to their children and wards schools to see things for themselves? You need to visit the public schools nearest to your domain and see how your children sitting on bare floor while receiving lessons in 21st century.
It will be unfair to say that both the past governor Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and present two time sitting governor Senator Ifeanyi Okowa didn’t make enough effort to revamp the public state schools. But their best was not enough as much proper independent monitoring scheme was not put in place to checkmate the educational system, despite the huge millions of nairas allocated for education in the past years yielded almost nothing as several public school children in 2021 still sit on the broken floors receiving lessons. What a pity!
The commissioner and most of her Chief Inspectors of Education in most of the Local Government Areas in the State seemed to be a docile but tacit supporters of this wanton exploitation of parents there by massively not only rubbishing the do called free Education policy of the Okowa Adminstration but stylishly using the exhorbitant admission levies to push parents into enrolling kids at the private institutions in the state as parents now see the public schools as even more expensive than some of the private schools owned by the state Commissioner and some of her cohorts.
Information available to Daily Watch is that Mrs. Rose Ezewu was a public servant who until her appointment as commissioner was a serving public secondary school principal. This speaks volume why the commissioner could not have the courage to condemn the ongoing extortion by principals which perhaps, she enjoyed during her days as principal. And instead, venting her anger on the innocent reporter who is preforming his legitimate duties of watchdog. Mr. Rose Ezewu’s quarrel with Daily Watch reporter on phone makes her character questionable as someone with the right sense of judgement to hold a sensitive public office as commissioner. Her action makes her much like former minister of aviation, Chief Fani-Kayode with short-fused and temperamental who fought a journalist for asking ” who is bankrolling his tour? The media will put her on great check for not displaying decorum while talking with journalists at any occasion.
Daily Watch took the pain to pay an unscheduled visit to two private schools owned by the Commissioner of basic education Mrs. Rose Ezewu located at Okuokoko and Osubi, namely ” Play Pen Secondary and Primary school” in Okpe local government area of Delta state.
The dearth of public schools an age-longed history predates the Commissioner of basic education Mrs. Rose Ezewu. The problem with her and Daily Watch was her unwitty, arrogant, rude and boisterous reaction on Daily Watch inquiry.
The dearth of public schools Daily Watch findings was a deliberate attempt by government educational policy makers, principals who established private schools to deliberately running down public schools so much so that their private schools who are competitors with public schools thrive while public schools die naturally., thereby, private school owners like our darling Commissioner for basic education and her cohorts smile to the bank at the expense of the parents.
Daily Watch team which included their managing Editor from Abuja was shocked to their hilt to witness principals in several schools in the State during their visit extorting parents from around five thousand naira to twenty six thousand and the Chief Inspectors of Education and Commissioner herself pretending like all iis well like it is a government decision when in actual fact the Okowa’s administration penciled down less than two thousand naira only for admission into government schools in the state be it model or not.
Daily watch findings and the different collections in all the schools visited which will be exposed in our subsequent publications with recorded evidence will not only shock the state governor but also Deltans just as the shocking response of the commissioner when accorded with these bold facts on phone and under record will show even the most tough hearted Deltans.
Daily watch state wide tours and which also shocking brought the tram face to face with students in over twenty nine schools around the state with about ten in Warri and environs sitting on bare floors and in some cases even class rooms that are Sandy which the crew secretly filmed without the knowledge of the principals and which Daily Watch crew with pictorial evidences and videos will publish soon.
Daily watch also on infrastructural decay and embarrassment also spoke to the state Education Commissioner who rather than address the issue went haywire with threats to the reporters for trying to visit what she called ‘her schools ‘ rather than Delta schools without written permission from her.
According to the Commissioner when questioned under tape on the explicit extortions and decay “why will you at all visit my schools without written approval from my office or were you sent by the Governor?
The Commissioner’s reaction on widespread complains by parents against principals makes mockery of herself or the government. Must a journalist gets a written permission from the ministry of education or her office before he could pay a visit to Delta public schools to carry out an investigation or findings of any sort?
In reality, some school principals when Daily Watch visited, naively demanded an approval letter from the ministry of education to enable principals to tell journalists their operations in public schools. This is perhaps, a deliberate policy in Delta civil service to keep dirty deals in secrecy from the eyes of the public.
But in her recorded angry reaction, Mrs Rose Ezewu unwittingly told Daily Watch, The ongoing extortions one expected that the principals will use part to provide the needed infrastructure which you just mentioned as lacking”‘ Affirming the extortions in public secondary schools in the state.
Daily watch in the days ahead will practically showcase the lengthy response of the commissioner’s shocking responses to many questions in anger and also video and pictures evidences of the heavy rot,eyesore that some Delta schools have become under Okowa who to the best of our knowledge does not know exactly how his past commissioners of education had ran the school system down.