Unknown persons have burnt down a newly constructed 9-classroom block primary school in Cross River State, St. Joseph Primary, Bansara, Ogoja Local Government Area.
GRASSROOT REPORTERS learnt that the school was razed on Monday night.
Reacting to the incident, the Executive Chairman, Cross River State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Senator Stephen Odey condemned the act, describing it as nefarious and a means to displace pupils of the school, vowing that the Board will do everything within its power to fish out the culprit(s).
He lamented that acts such as this is a setback to the state government efforts in tackling accommodation challenges facing schools despite the state lean resources.
According to him “I am sad that despite all our efforts to make sure that basic education is given priority in Cross River State some people are still out to frustrate the good intentions of the government and SUBEB. The State government is spending huge resources to advance basic education in the state yet people are destroying school facilities and carting away equipment and learning materials.”
Senator Odey said there have been reported cases of vandalism, stolen computers, books and other facilities in some schools across the State. He added that just recently a person was arrested for stealing roofing sheets in primary School, Asu Egbe, Ikom Local Government area.
The SUBEB Boss reiterated the need for Communities to complement government efforts by taking ownership of schools so as to guard against acts of theft and vandalism.
He warned that Communities that do not protect infrastructure, learning materials and equipment provided by government will be blacklisted from future interventions.
One suspect has been arrested and investigation is still ongoing.