For a faster and even development, public-private collaboration is a unifying factor – Dr Sabina
The Soludo Administration for Development has proposed a Public Community Private Partnership Model, as a way forward in addressing developmental needs. This is imperative to adopt because the resources available to the government cannot do development work alone.
In line with this, Dr Chukwunedum Sabina, the Principal of Abott Girls Secondary School Ihiala, in Anambra state who is a seasoned administrator that has gained her the best administrator in Nigeria 2022 by the federal award, a presidential award has continued to seek partnership with philanthropists to ensure continued development.
Her track is with High Chief Stanley Chukwudi Obodoagwu and our Correspondent Uchenna Ezeadigwe was there, excerpt.
Can you briefly tell us what you know about High Chief Stanley Chukwudi Obodoagwu?
Ezeudo of a truth is a humanitarian kind of person, a philanthropist to the core. I have been hearing of how he helps the people and how he is Akpata Ozue-oha. And I said to myself, no I cannot wait, let me go and find something for my school, so he can come to my school and help my students. I have involved him in this school for one year now and he has been helping the school. We embarked on our Annual Inter-House sports which took place on 4th of April, he did wonders, and he donated over Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira to the school.
I believe that one good turn deserves another, I took some of my students to his father’s burial to pay homage, because in the school here he has a House Name ‘Ezeudo House’. Not because he supported us during the inter house sport and I won’t go to see him, it’s not good, what is worth doing is worth doing well.
He has promised something tangible to this school, at least he promised to renovate the ICT hall, but because of the Insecurity in Ihiala, he has not been able to do that. If we have up to five to ten humanitarian like him, this our educational system will change. We have some indigent students who cannot pay their school fees, in fact some have dropped from school and so, that was one of the reasons we have been following him because we know he can do it and will do it for us. There is this girl who designed the muffler we came with, she is brainy, skilled and talented but she is from a poor family. So I decided to take her to Ezeudo so she can receive scholarship from him and I succeeded that day. Thank God, he has granted ten students of Abott Girls Secondary School Scholarship from their various classes to university level, no tuition, nothing, he will pay for them till they finish and gain admission to any state or federal university of their choice.
What do you think made Abott girls exceptional from other schools that made Ezeudo have interest in its development strides?
Leadership makes the different, if you want to check the capability of any school, check the head or principal of the school, the administrative unit of the school and that is why I said that leadership makes the difference. I approached Ezeudo two years ago and he did not respond but later after I had won this presidential award, I decided to try again, please come to do one project for me, I am talking to you as the best administrator in Nigeria and from there he started to listen to me. So what actually attracted him to this school is that, he really found out that I am a hard working Principal, with a national award, I mean it’s not easy, to have a handshake with President Buhari, it’s not easy.
For how long have you been the Principal of Abott Girls School and what achievement have you recorded so far?
Too many, from 2017 as the Principal Community Secondary School Lilu in Nnewi zone where I started, I have recorded tremendous achievements which brought me to Abott Girls. If you ask the people of Lilu, I am the person that attracted the fencing of the school, I also initiated skill acquisition for the school because I don’t want the students to graduate as job seekers, rather job creators and not to start looking for white kola job, at least become self-reliant. I involved the community and achieved that cordial relationship with the indigenes to the extent that once I ask them to do this, they will do it. One of them, Onowu Chidi Nwanuneze single handedly built the school library for me. Another person also built two school classroom block because of that award, one will see the criteria for giving the award, how do you attract the community, how do you change the life of the students, what are your achievements, in terms of the written papers or books you written, at least I know I have written about twenty educational journals, two educational books, that if you Google who Chukwunedu Sabina, or Ihueze Sabina is, you can easily get an answer on Google. From there, the then Commissioner of Education, Kate Omenugha, said you cannot stay there, you are my Creativity Principal, I will transfer you to Abott Girls Secondary which was at the verge of collapsing to revive it. And the woman did not know that this place was my Alma mata, I finished here 1982 and I am the first student to become the Principal of the school. So when I came here I actually wept, seeing the environment I knew this was not the old Abott Girls I know but because am a hardworking woman, I said to myself there must be turn around, any place I touch it will turn to gold, I know people I can beckon on, people like Chief Stanley Chukwudi Obodoagwu, Ezeudo Gburugburu of Ihiala.
When I came here in 2020, most of the building has dilapidated and so I started renovation of the staff room, the female hostels, the examination hall, although more needs to be done. Both the wiring, bought Generator Set and in no distance time the school started wearing a long look.
What are the challenges you are currently facing as the Principal of the school?
Apart from the glaring achievements recorded here, I still have some challenges like lack of water supply, our school borehole got damaged beyond repair so we need a good spirited person to come and assist us repair it or possibly dig a new one for us. Another one is the ICT building which High Chief Stanley has promised to renovate and equip for us. Then, the Principal house is also at the verge of collapsing. Actually the Principal is the chief security of the school, so she is supposed to live in the school. How I wish we have more capable hands like Ezeudo who can help in all these renovations, things will actually change for the better. In addition, you can see our examination hall, once you enter inside the hall, the back side has already collapsed completely, I just did a little touch by painting the outside so that people will not see what we are going through but getting to the other side of it you will shed tears.
What actually is the State Government doing in terms of improving the educational standard of the school?
Well, the state government is trying at least they have recruited like 13 teachers and posted them to our school. Before then, we were under staffed, but with the posting of the teachers, there have been positive change in terms of teaching and learning in the school.
Apart from the private request you’re making from individuals, is there anything you want the state government to do for the school?
Yes, one is fencing the school premises, here is girl’s school with dormitory and some of these touts do sneak in to molest these students, so our first priority is fencing our school. And I cannot ask the individuals to fence a government owned school. So the government should fence the school to protect these girls from all these miscreants that comes in to harass them from time to time.
Finally, your words and prayer for High Chief Stanley Chukwudi Obodoagwu?
For a faster and even development, public-private collaboration is a unifying factor. One word I have for him is that, God will continue to protect him, guide him and that no weapon formed against him shall prosper. God will continue to open a new river in the desert for him and his generation shall never lack. As he continue to enrich people, so shall God will continue to replenish his pockets and he will never go dry. I also want to express my profound gratitude and thanks to him for his benevolence in the entire Ihiala community and beyond. Indeed, he is much loved.
“So when I came here I actually wept, seeing the environment I knew this was not the old Abott Girls I know but because I am not afraid of work, I said to myself there must be turn around, any place I touch it will turn to gold, I know people I can beckon on, people like Chief Stanley Chukwudi Obodoagwu, Ezeudo Gburugburu of Ihiala”.