By Ime Silas

The Executive Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Secondary Education Board; Dr. Ekaette Ebong Okon has lauded the President and members of Itu Development Association (IDA), USA Branch for rebuilding and equipping the dilapidated Girls’ Dormitory at Itam Secondary School, Itam in Itu local government area of the State.

Dr. Ekaette Okon who stated this on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 during the Handing Over Ceremony of the Dormitory facility held at the School compound, Itam, also called on other well-placed indigenes of the state to emulate IDA’s gestures as according to her, government could not always meet all the basic needs of the people.

The President of IDA, USA Branch; Mrs. Mfon Umana accompanied by other members of the Association, government officials, Staff, students and alumni of Itam Secondary School were present during the event.

Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Ekaette Okon “I want to specially thank and welcome all the officials of the State Secondary Education Board here present to this event holding today at Obong Itam. But I will not fail to welcome here also, our returning member who is going to speak again for us as the Honourable Member representing Itu State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly; The Rt. Honourable KufreAbasi Edidem. Let me also acknowledge the presence of the Chairman of the local government area ably represented by Hon. Aniefiok Udoh.

Let me also with very due respect, welcome all the Royal Highnesses seated here today.

“At this juncture, I want to specially commend all the members of Itu Development Association, USA Branch ably led by our dear daughter; Mrs. Mfon Umana, for their magnanimity in rebuilding and equipping this dilapidated girls’ hostel which is due for handing over today. I want to thank them specially for for coming to the aid of the students.

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By their action, they have helped the Akwa Ibom State Government. And I must quickly say here that we cannot expect the government to do everything. I don’t think it’s possible. So for IDA to do this, it shows they love the children who are the immediate beneficiaries, the school and the entire state. I want to invite every well-placed indigene of Akwa Ibom state to emulate IDA and think of what they could do to help solve some of our problems”

Also speaking at the occasion, the Principal of the school; Mr. Ime Nkanga while lauding the initiative of the donors, expressed his hope that the new edifice would help rekindle the fainted glory of the institution.

He said “The staff, PTA and students of this institution are today beaming with joy as what seemed impossible has been made possible by God through the efforts of Itu Development Association (IDA), USA Branch, led by the dynamic and indefatigable President; Mrs. Mfon Umana, towards the rebuilt of this dilapidated girls dormitory, which today is wearing a new look and is to be delivered by them to the school authority.

“The condition of the girls’ hostel as well as the boys’ hostel drastically degraded the status of our dear school aside academic activities as the population of boarders in the school has been reduced. No reasonable parent would want his or her child or children to stay in such accommodation when there are schools with better accommodations within and outside the zone.

The quick intervention of IDA towards the rebuilt of this magnificent edifice is highly appreciated by both the PTA, Staff and students of this school and we applaud you, Itu Development Association for this kind gesture for your Alma mater. May God bless you all. We know and believe that this nice accommodation will revive the fainted glory of this great institution as parents will be encouraged to bring their daughters back to the boarding house”.

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Earlier in her speech, the President of IDA, USA Branch;  Mrs. Mfon Umana said her group was moved by the need to contribute to the improved future of the students of Itam Secondary School, being her Alma mater, hence embarking on the project.

“I want to thank the Almighty God for an opportunity to be here today. While I stand on the existing protocol, let me begin by saying that it is a privilege to be here with all of you for the opening of this facility in Itam secondary school for our borders. Quite frankly and honestly, my presence here today is very unlikely but for the humble beginning here at Itam secondary school decades ago. On a personal note, this school retooled my path as a young lady and imbued boundless morality and sense of purpose and I am sure many among us here today can attest to this fact.

“As a humble servant of Itu Development Association with a sense of duty to help our future generations and leaders of our community, I am sure that students, teachers, community and leaders will join me in welcoming the addition of the facility. I note too that this initiative which we are commissioning today is also supplemented by donations of good-willed friends and family, here and abroad who are not necessarily from Itam and Itu and I am eternally grateful to all the donors.

Ladies and gentlemen, good health, good facilities and good infrastructure are important in producing school outcomes all over the world and children from Itam Secondary School and the entire Akwa Ibom State deserve the best. And, I have no doubt that such as new classrooms, dormitories with convenience facilities and boarding schools can encourage better school attendance. Better school attendance is obviously good for the students. It is also good for the brother communities around Itam Secondary School.

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“After all, the students studying at Itam Secondary School today are the up and coming doctors, accountants, nurses and Engineers, professors, scientists, Teachers and leaders of tomorrow. And, if communities are their economic and social well-being, it needs people with right experience and the right education. As we all know, a good education starts with Young people learning the basics of reading, writing mathematics of elementary in primary schools. 

If today’s new facility can play a part in encouraging Itam Secondary School students to attend school and to go on to improve their education and find worthwhile jobs, then it’s good news for both students and their families. It is good news for the local community and It is good news for Akwa Ibom State. I’m confident the students of this school especially the girls will make full use of this facility to improve their education and contribute to their country’s progress by achieving full and rewarding lives in the future”

One of the donors, Obong Hope Umana in his goodwill message said the successful completion of the project showed that every impossibility could be possible where there a will. While thanking God for the enablement He granted the leadership of IDA to execute the project, Obong Umana, who is an Elder Statesman in the Association, also appreciated other donors for their contributions.