APRIL 2020 NEWSLETTER
Dedicated to the First-Class Mornarch, HRM Obi Ikenchukwu 1 of Agbor Kingdom, Delta State, Nigeria
(02 December 1938 – 29 April 1979)
We welcome you to the first edition of our 2020 newsletters and as previously informed, save for special months in our history (April, June, November and December), our newsletters will now be published quarterly. We assure you of our dedication to quality and interesting publications and general updates on our activities.
We therefore open this year with our two-part topic on the state of our public schools and suggested ways in which we at QGF are looking to address some of the pressing issues. We find this topic not only as a necessary issue for attention but also vital to the development of our Communities, States and Nation as a whole. We hope that at the end of your read, you will come on board our COVID-19 or CO-GIVE20? project even in these rather challenging times. ENJOY!
OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS…WHICH WAY NIGERIA? Part I
Which way Nigeria, which way to go… I want to know (copied from a song tagged ‘which way Nigeria’ by the legendary Nigerian musician, Sonny Okosuns.)
Picture: Sonny Okosuns.
No one asks for direction except one is confused, lost or stranded.
Picture: a confused little girl asking for clarification.
We, at Queen Grace Foundation (QGF) together with the rest of the masses are confused and short of knowledge on the reason for the appalling and devastating state of our public schools. This is why we are asking for direction.
It gets more confusing when we look around us and see that the good-old-days of our public schools are not far-fetched. The products of these schools dwell amongst us attaining stardom in their different fields of endeavours in the society. They still reminisce about their school days experience with a broad grin all over their faces. So:
- What happened to our public schools or rather, what is happening to them?
- Why are they not producing the same experience or radiating the same beams of pride today?
- Why do we now talk more pleasantly about private schools (that are dubiously expensive and owned by individual business men and women who do not necessarily bother about those that cannot afford the fees) than we talk about our public schools (which are jointly owned by every bonafide citizen of the land and ideally affordable and accessible)?
- What happened to the basic facilities in our public schools; why are there no conducive classrooms, no ICT labs, no well-equipped libraries, no toilets, no water supply?
- Why are the teachers not well trained and paid? Why? Why the neglect?
- These are some of the questions we are asking Nigeria. “This Nigeria”, however, is no other person than you and I. So, “if u ask me na who I go ask” (Nigerian slang extracted from Omawunmi’s (Nigerian artiste) song literally meaning “if you ask me, who do I ask in turn”. In other words, we are to answer these questions collectively as one people.
Amazingly, the reality of COVID-19 and its resultant directive by our government ordering everyone to stay at home, has provided us an opportunity to reflect on these questions and consider how answering them with practical steps will make education more interesting and life healthier and safer for our children in public schools when life returns to normal.
Pictures: The current state of some Public Primary Schools in Nigeria.
In an attempt to answer these questions, Queen Grace Foundation (QGF) in line with its objective and drive, embarked on a project in 2019 tagged “QGF Bags 4 Life” wherein she visited schools in the rural part of Agbor, Delta State and distributed school bags and other study materials to some primary and secondary school students. The expression on the faces of those children in appreciation of QGF’s kind gesture was invaluable. On the flip side however, it opened our eyes to the reality of the circumstances that our children are exposed to in school. This should not be and it certainly cannot be right.
Pictures: QGF bags4life Initiative 2019.
In light of the above therefore, QGF is embarking, yet, on another journey this year towards restoring the quality of education and experience obtainable in our public schools. We have identified two schools in Delta State that qualify for this project and we ask for your support in achieving this goal. For details of this project, visit our website: www.queengracefoundation.org.
We believe that proactiveness is more effective and cheaper than emergency measures. However, our country has been hit (in our state of unpreparedness) by the current COVID-19 pandemic, and we, at QGF, are proposing, amidst other palliative measures, a combat of the COVID-19 with our CO-GIVE20 Initiative (giving towards a more reliable public-school system for our future). Our children deserve better. Our public schools deserve better. Our communities deserve better.
Our call therefore, is to well-meaning individuals, corporations, organisations etc, of our society including the alumni of these our public schools to come on board as we journey to redeem and restore our schools to their former glory and pride.
To support our QGF2020 Project on the development of our adopted public schools, known as “COVID19 or CO-GIVE20?”, please donate into any of our accounts below with reference as your name and “Co-Give20”:
Access Bank: 0739444546
Barclays Bank: 20.92.63 (SC); 73005984 (AN)
Zenith Bank: 1017200010
Or visit our website www.queengracefoundation.org to donate through our “go fund me” account specifically set up for this project. We thank you.
N.B: Sceptre Legal Services is the preferred law firm that represents Queen Grace Foundation and The Obi Ikenchukwu Foundation on all legal related matters.
We also render probono services on humanitarian matters such as Child Rights Law, Domestic Violence etc.
Queen Grace Foundation
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