Teacher Mike Udam Raises Alarm on Nkim Children

Teacher Mike Udam Raises Alarm on Nkim Children
Mike Udam, a teacher in Girls Secondary School, Igoli Ogoja, Cross River State, has raised alarm over what he described as the backward performance of Nkim children in all the subjects taught in that school. He raised the alarm in an open letter to “all Nkim leaders”.

The Nkim people make up the predominant urban group in Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross River State. They are part of the Bakor group, a group that comprises parts of Ogoja and Ikom Local Government Areas. The Bakor people share cultural and linguistic similarities. Mike Udam is an Nkim son.


Mr. Mike Udam

He stated in his letter that he has conducted a research that shows that while children of “ndigbo, Bekwarra, Yala and others” are usually at the top of their classes, only few children of Nkim extraction “can boast of optimal performance.” He identified poor parental control and active participation of Nkim children in burial ceremonies, as part of the reasons for this trend. Here is his letter:

Dear Nkim leaders of thought,
I am delighted to share my thought with you in the believe that you will think along with me and something urgent will be done.
I teach Chemistry and Computer studies in Government Secondary school Igoli Ogoja just behind the catholic cathedral.
I teach in the Senior Secondary.
After spending six years in that school, permit me to share the findings of my practical research.
Out of the about 1000 students in that school, Nkim children are over 600.
So each year, Nkim students usually account for over 50% of the population of the school.
But here is the real issue.
In a class of 180 students like SS1, one 6 students from Nkim extraction can boast of optimal performance. Rather SS1 -3 are topped by ndigbo, Bekwarra, Yala and others.
I thought this was only in my subject, but my research has shown that Nkim children are very very backward academically in all the subjects taught in that school.
In fact an NGO came to award scholarship to the best three students in each class and only one student from Nkim qualified. Several quiz competitions we take students to Calabar from the school, are non nkim children.
The reasons are not far fetched.
First I think there is poor parental control. Parents are too busy to look at the activities of their wards.
Secondly, burials. In those days, children are not allowed to participate in burials. Today students are more active in burials than studies.
Thirdly, the impact of video at home and in the house of neighbours. Parents don’t know how negatively these videos impact on their wards.
Fourthly, football viewing centers.
I think that if we all wake up, we will address this ugly trend.
The youths should ban children of school age from burials.
The community should sponsor an active extra mural center from the land sale money and it is made compulsory for all students from 4 -6pm daily even on Sunday. A retired teacher should be appointed to head the unit. All graduate looking for job still in the village should be encouraged to volunteer.
Video watching by students should be banned. Any man who opens his doors for students to come and watch videos should be heavily fined.
I have written like a teacher according to my thoughts.
You are free to differ.
But one thing is sure, our children are not doing well and it has adverse effect on the future of the community. Drop out must always be on the rise and more “emblem boys” are in the making.
Let us do something before something do us.
Mike Udam

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