By Ononye VC
The Crowther Memorial Primary School Onitsha is always in the news for wrong reasons.
Previously,it was the ownership tussle between the Anglican mission and the Anambra state government.
Not too long ago,a caterpillar lost its break and with full speed,rammed into the school,pulling down a fence wall and a classroom wall after it had ran over a school pupil killing her instantly.
The scars of that sad memory still remains in the school till date.
Crowther Memorial Primary School is undoubtedly one of the oldest local government schools East of the Niger.And while it is owned by the state government, hardly has any of the successive governments including the one shown enough attention to the school.
It is an eyesore seeing such kind of structure within Onitsha Metropolis not to talk of its strategic site at the GRA close to the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity Onitsha and many other beautiful mansions springing up around it.
With the age of the school today,it ought to have become a model school in saner climes.
Other beautiful schools like Sancta Maria,Trinity Primary School,Holy Trinity and others within the area send very negative signals on the the memory and psychology of the pupils who have to manage wth decripit structure,rickety desks,zero recreational equipment, poor toilet facilities etc
There is no luxury of electricity or water in the school in 21st century.
Sadly the pupils of this school in question have a terrible psychological nightmare and belief that they are not only in isolation but victims of isolation and second class citizens such that they are not entitled to anything good.
Coming at their formative period in life,it is a long sad memory.
The sad reality is that average parents do not send their children to the school owing to the wrong impression that the school is the preserve of house helps,maids,house boys and other less privileged. This is wrong.
I have watched and monitored painfully, how some of the pupils sneak out during recess to view their mates in other nearby schools in envy,owing to better facilities in the school.They could not decipher the difference or the reason why there own school should be relegated.
I remember very well how in the past, teachers of the school go cap in hand to beg for materials from well meaning individuals.
The Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha,Most Rev Valerian Okeke who is the nearest neighbor to the school had on several occasions,donated set of marching band and other assistance to the school in order to make the pupils have a sense of belonging.
Thieves are known to be breaking into the classrooms and ransack everywhere.The school library is a laughing stock while desks,the ceiling and roof are terribly frightening.
Crowther Memorial Primary School should not be seen as a citadel of poor formation and upbringing. It could be that in future, when products of such poorly catered school and the likes eventually find themselves in position of authority through political power,They will refuse to give back good governance to the society given their ugly background. This is too bad.
Crowther Memorial Primary School have never had it this bad.Governor Willie Obiano who grew up in Onitsha should be familiar with this environment and I am very sure he doesn’t know this present discouraging situation.
Headmistress of the school whose name was given as Mrs Chinwe showed some hostility on inquiry about the situation of the school.She refused to give out information and directed Journalists to her Local Government Education Officer.
Contacted,the Education Officer in charge of Onitsha North Local Govt Dame Dr Ngozi Nwanosike, said the issue has been reported to the Anambra Universal Basic Education Board and that hopefully, things would turn around for the school.
She did not say when.
I call on all concerned to rally to the aid of this school and may God help us all.