The use of public school facilities in Akwa Ibom State for social events during weekdays has been prohibited.
Similarly, a strict embargo has been placed on the use of school blocks for religious activities such as church services.
These formed part of the regulations reached at the State Executive Council meeting held on Wednesday, at the Government House, Uyo.
The State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong, in a chat with Government House reporters, disclosed that the Council took these decisions to prevent further disruption of academic activities and to safeguard the infrastructure in schools.
The executive council also abolished the weekend schooling system, brought about as part of the COVID-19 strategic plans, and reverted learning to the five working days.
“The use of schools blocks and facilities for church activities has now been brought under strict regulations. Any church that intends to use any school facility must receive the express permission of the Honourable Commissioner for Education before doing that.”
The State Executive Council maintained that such considerations could be given on the basis of certain conditions, including the guarantee that the church will not make use of the dual desks at the schools and assurances of leaving the school facilities in the best of conditions after use.
The Information Commissioner disclosed that “there is absoute prohibition on schools days i.e., Mondays to Fridays.
“We don’t want a situation where school activities are disrupted because people are using the school premises for burials, weddings and other social activities”.
He maintained that the government is not ready to invest in the provision of infrastructure for education, and then have people under the guise of religious activities go in and vandalise them.
The earlier arrangements where Heads of Schools issued approvals and licenses for the usage of school facilities have been abolished.
The Commissioner said the Governor in Council, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, particularly frowned at the security issues in Essien Udim and gave assurances that with the collaboration of the State government and security agencies, absolute normalcy will return, not just to Essien Udim, but also to its environs, very soon.
He said White Paper on the report of the Commission of Enquiry into the perennial crises in Nkari, Ini LGA in 2013 was also received and adopted as the official position of government and that its recommendations will be acted upon.
On infrastructure, Comrade Ememobong said the Council gave approval for additional works on the 19.3km Anua-Mbak Ishiet Road and accepted recommendations by the State Commissioner for Works and Fire Service, Prof. Eno Ibanga, for additional works on Ikot Ebiere-Ikot Edor-Ikot Iko Ibom-Okom road and Ukpana-Akabom-Ikwe road in Onna and Mkpat Enin Local Government Areas.
The council also approved the construction of the 1.4km outfall drain on the Ndue Otong Oku road and received a proposition for additional works on the roads in Oron.
With the approvals, the roads are expected to be ready on schedule for commissioning and in durable conditions, the Commissioner added.