The Edo State Universal Basic Education Board has raised the alarm over the alleged theft of facilities at a government school for children with special needs by suspected vandals.
The acting Chairman of the board, Dr. Joan Oviawe, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists on Thursday.
Oviawe said the vandals allegedly stole window fittings belonging to the Special Needs School for the Visually Impaired, Mentally Challenged and Hearing Impaired at Ukhegie.
She said that two suspects were arrested in connection with the damaged roofing sheets of a classroom at the school.
Oviawe said, “It was gathered that window fittings and other facilities at the school were loosened and removed on Monday, February 12, by the suspects, whose names could not be released because the police have not concluded investigations on the matter.
“A total of six classrooms were affected in the incident, with aluminium roofing sheets of one of the classrooms completely damaged. Officials of the school said this was not the first of such incidents at the school.”
While describing the act as condemnable, she warned that the state government would no longer tolerate the destruction of facilities in public primary schools, adding that perpetrators would be held accountable and prosecuted in the court of law.
“The state cannot progress when facilities in primary schools are vandalised. Such acts put the future of children in public schools in jeopardy. These children deserve the right to learn in a conducive environment with adequate facilities,” the SUBEB chairman said.
Oviawe, however, appealed to communities and other stakeholders in the state to collaborate with the government to rid the state of vandals.
She disclosed that efforts were on to retrieve the stolen items from buyers.
Oviawe stated, “Edo people who reside close to public schools should support government’s stance to stamp out the activities of vandals. They are encouraged to report individuals and groups who vandalise public assets in schools to the nearest police post.
“We intend to use the prosecution of this matter to teach others who are in the habit of vandalising public property lessons.”