Governor Samuel ORTOM
Save us from the continuous harassment of the Ministry of Education, I write this open letter to bring to your attention the difficulties we are going through as missionaries in Benue State to give the children of our state the education needed for the growth of the country.
As you must have known, it is the responsibility of the government to educate her citizens; the church comes in to assist in this regard. As a consequence of the desire of the church to assist, the church goes through a lot of difficulties in carrying out this responsibility, especially church schools that do not receive any assistance from the government. I give an instance of the school I head – Holy Ghost College, Sankera. Since we built the school in 2006, we have not received any noticeable government assistance apart.
from the bore hole drilled at the school during the administration of the former Governor, Gabriel Torwua Suswam. We had appealed to the government for electricity to be extended from Sankera to the school and a transformer, it has been over ten years now and nothing has been done about it. We have been making sacrifices to give the best training to the children that come under our tutelage and they have been doing very well in tertiary institutions of learning to the extent that within the 16 years of the establishment of the school, two of our alumni have been called to the Nigerian Bar, 12 are studying for the catholic priesthood in and outside the country, one has been ordained a pastor in one of our Pentecostal churches and some have graduated with First Class in their areas of discipline and are contributing meaningfully to the growth of our state and the nation.
Even as the government does not help us, during the time for registration of external examinations such as WAEC and NECO, the ministry of education keeps on intimidating us to pay levies that are not legal such as ICT Levy: How could the ministry be insisting that a school the government does not support pay ICT Levy? What is it for? The ministry of education ought to know that most of us providing educational services in rural areas are going through a lot of challenges, especially those of us in security hot spots. For instance the whole population of Holy Ghost College, Sankera, which is a complete boarding school, is 86 out of which 7 are on scholarships.
With this insignificant number of students we have to pay our staff and feed the students. With these challenges we still do charity work, we have 11 students being prepared for the external examinations and some of them are on the scholarship of the school because their parents cannot pay.Levies that we have been paying without too much complaints include: Quality Control, ANCORPTS, Workshops, Sports Levy, NAPPS.
My dear governor, I pray that as a God fearing Governor, you may intervene in this matter and clear it once and for all. The various education secretaries of our respective dioceses have been trying to address this issue with the ministry of education but it seems the ministry has not been listening to them. It is as a result of this that I have taken the responsibility to write this letter as a citizen of the state.Please do come to our aid to help us train the youth.
I wish you God’s choicest blessings.
Fr. Kuha INDYER, CSSp
Principal, Holy Ghost College, Sankera,
Benue State, Nigeria.
Thursdays, February 9, 2022