The Wodiong Senie Foundation, a community-based NGO, on Friday February 14, 2020 purchased not fewer than 30 Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) registration forms for indigenes of Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area drawn from the 10 wards of the local government in line with its motto, "Doing Small Things With Great Love.â€
Speaking at the official presentation of the JAMB Forms print out, the executive director of the NGO, Mrs Joanna Owodiong-Idemeko, stated that education is a major asset for the advancement of any nation, while the greatest investment in life is education, bringing about growth and development, intellectual advancement, moral and attitudinal rectitude in young people.
She further described education as a major step towards building a sound mental system for the younger generation to build the needed requirements for personal and national progress which, she said, is the foundation for all round development in any nation or state.
"Every child is entitled to have qualitative and sound education for a more promising prospect. A country's development lies solely in its educational system. The high standard of quality education in the nation will give rise to improved changes in the nation's administration.
"In Nigeria, the educational system is nothing to write home about because of its poor infrastructure and inadequate learning facilities as well as unqualified teachers which results in falling standards in educationâ€, she charged.
Owodiong-Idemeko also expressed displeasure and dissatisfaction towards the backwardness of education in Nigeria, saying "It is completely unfounded that a child of 10 years old in Nigeria cannot meet up to the standard of a 6 years old in most developed countries because his or her educational background is poorly built unlike that of the 6 year old who has that strong foundation due to basic education.
"Though basic education is in operation in Nigeria, not every child is a beneficiary. The basic education was targeted at every child having a free, universal and compulsory basic education regardless of age, sex, ethnicity or religious backgrounds, language or status but there are lots of children out of school because of financial constraints or religious sentiments which shouldn't be so.
"For a country to thrive, much attention should be given to the educational sector as future leaders are products of a qualitative educational system,â€ she added.
Also speaking at the occasion, the paramount ruler of Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area, Edidem Clement Francis Ekpenyong, thanked Obong Ide Owodiong-Idemeko, the Obong Unwana Ibesikpo Asutan and former PDP aspirant in Uyo Senatorial District seat during the 2019 general elections, his wife, Joanna and the Wodiong Senie Foundation for their humanitarian service to the community, noting that Owodiong-Idemeko is a man of proven integrity, imbued with charismatic leadership qualities set to redefine the academic standard of education in Ibesikpo-Asutan with the philanthropic gesture he and the Foundation have shown to the people of Ibesikpo-Asutan Local Government in various areas.
In their separate remarks, the project coordinator of the organization, Mr Ifreke Essien, Obong S. P. Udoh, village head of Ikot Akpan Ndua, Obong Augustine John Essien, deputy village head of Akpa Utong, Mrs Chewa Okonkwo, guest speaker and Prince Adiakpan, extolled Wodiong Senie Foundation and its sponsors for their contributions towards the educational development of Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area in ensuring that the education of the younger generation is given priority to enable them compete with their contemporaries in the society.
They also urged the beneficiaries to make good and judicious use of such opportunity for the progress, sustainability and betterment of the educational advancement of the society and their own future.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Abigail Jackson, who hails from Okop Ndua Erong, thanked and appreciated the unprecedented show of love to humanity displayed by the Foundation and promised to come through with an outstanding performance during the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and in their future academic pursuits.