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Rural teachers seek free education for pupils in Rivers

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Some teachers in Rivers State have canvassed total free education for pupils in the state to enable children, especially those in the rural areas, maximise their intelligence and achieve the objectives of Universal Basic Education (UBE).

The teachers made the call when the State Primary School II, Elele-Okinali in Ikwerre Local Council of Rivers State, emerged the winner of 2019 NNPC/TEPNG quiz, spelling and comprehension competition for primary schools.The competition, according to Total Exploration and Production Limited, was organised for 16 public primary schools in Elele Alimini, Elele Okinali, Ndele and Rumuekpe host and pipeline communities of OML 58.

Though the Rivers State government declared free education in the state but findings by The Guardian revealed that some schools still compel the pupils to pay some charges due to the inability of government to provide all the necessary needs of the schools such as toilet system, water, books, chalks, among others.

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A representative of UBE, Emohua Zonal Office, Mr. Ohaka Bob, who spoke at the event, said: “A child can be anywhere and still be able to be educated properly even if at the rural area.“I have seen the smartness and intelligence in the rural children. It is really encouraging and we all need to encourage them more by sponsoring free education and quiz competitions.

“I am really encouraged by their level of intelligence displayed today and I crave the indulgence of other corporate organisations to emulate Total because we need more of these competitions in our rural schools to bring out the best in the kids.”

On his part, Total Deputy Manager, Community Affairs and Development, Mr. James Urho, said the competition was part of TEPNG’s efforts at encouraging the development and growth of quality education in her host communities.Urho said the competition was particularly giving attention to pupils in public primary schools as a way of grooming them towards appreciating the use of English.

“This yearly programme is part of TEPNG’s efforts at encouraging the development and growth of quality education in our host communities as well as the need to complement the state government’s effort towards stimulating interest in books and reading amongst the youths of this state.

“It is our continued hope that this competition will serve to sustain and simplify our students’ use of English as an invaluable tool in their academics. We are through this programme giving particular attention to pupils in our primary schools as a way of grooming them towards appreciating the use of English as one of the most important subjects needed to excel during the course of their primary and secondary education and beyond.

“I urge the teachers, facilitators and resource persons to spare nothing at continually enriching the curriculum to deliver on set objectives. As for the students, please always remember that you are the future of Nigeria. Think at all times what you can do or contribute to make Nigeria a better place for you and others coming after you.”

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