Edo State Government has lauded a facebook group, Igbanke Unity Forum (IUF), for its continuous donations to schools in the community.
The IUF had in October 2017, donated thousands of customised exercise books to students of the three secondary schools in Igbanke community.
Making the commendation while officially presenting sets of furniture donated by the IUF to the 14 primary schools in Igbanke, Edo State Commissioner for Education, Hon. Emmanuel Agbale, said although, the social media was largely known for its negative acts, the IUF has turned it to a veritable tool for positive development of schools in the community.
“This is one of the positive impacts of social media that the Igbanke Unity Forum has brought to the benefit of the education sector in the community,” he said.
The Commissioner, while saying that the state government was not unaware of the infrastructural challenge in some of the state public schools in the area, hinted that plans were already underway to address the challenges.
Part of the plans, according to Agbale, is the deliberate effort by the Obaseki-led administration to ensure that all the public schools in the state were equipped with state-of-the art furniture, just as he promised that as soon as the project commences, schools in Igbanke would be given utmost priority.
He, therefore, enjoined the benefitting schools to put the equipment into proper use, urging them to take ownership of it.
Earlier, acting chairman of the IUF, Prince Eric Agbonifo Uwagbai, said that the gesture became necessary following an online media report where pupils in almost all the primary schools in the community were filmed sitting, and writing on bare floor in their various classes during lecture.
Moved by the ugly development, Mr. Uwagbai, who spoke alongside one of the co-founders of the group and former editor at THISDAY Newspapers (now Publisher of an online medium, METROWATCH, Mr. Collins Edomaruse, said that the group, during its last annual general meeting (AGM) decided to embark on the project of equipping the schools with the sets of furniture.
Although the group did not disclose the cost of procuring the sets of furniture, indications are high that it must have cost them some fortune as the duo (Uwagbai and Edomaruse) hinted that each member of the group donated willfully towards the project.
Earlier in his remark, the leader, Igbanke Head Teachers, Comrade Samson Obanor, while outlining the challenges confronting public schools in the area to, particularly include lack of furniture, expressed appreciation to the group for coming to their aid just as he promised that they will ensure that the equipment were protected.
Some of the pupils present during the presentation, also, expressed appreciation to IUF for the gesture even as they called on other groups, individuals and organisations to take a cue from the group.