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School resumption: Stakeholders want improved learning environment, uninterrupted academic calendar

By Victor Gbonegun and Victor Oladele
19 January 2023   |   3:28 am
Stakeholders in the education sector have advanced the need for an improved learning environment as academic activities for the new year begins in schools across the country.

Pupils in school PHOTO: ISAAC TAIWO

• Pupils reveal expectations in New Year
Stakeholders in the education sector have advanced the need for an improved learning environment as academic activities for the new year begins in schools across the country.

They urged government and other private operators to provide basic learning tools, recreational facilities and improve safety of pupils given the alarming insecurity in some parts of the country.

After about three weeks holiday for Christmas and new year celebrations, schools in Lagos State have commenced academic activities for the second term while other planned resumption for next Monday. Many of the students in primary and secondary school as well as their parents were in high spirits to see the new year and hoped for a better learning environment.

Most of the public schools in Lagos area resumed on Monday, January 9, in line with government’s directives. In some of the schools visited in Lagos environs, pupils and their teachers turned out in large numbers. The teachers were seen guiding them to tidy up premises for academic activities.

Also in some of the private schools, parents were seen returning their wards to the classroom.

The Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in his message on resumption of academic activities, charged students in the state to pursue greatness, exhibit creativity and continue to maximise the use of digital learning towards surpassing the successes recorded in previous examinations.

The state’s Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, in a statement, reminded the students of the governor’s love and the student-teacher-centred initiatives numbering over 1,400 projects. She outlined some of the landmark projects to include, the provision of 1,047 new classrooms, the construction of new schools and rehabilitation of 197 existing ones, construction of 1,584 bed new hostels in boarding schools, and the provision of 181, 365, pieces of school furniture.

Speaking to The Guardian, stakeholders tasked government across all levels to provide solutions to problems confronting the education sector. According to them, there is need for improved funding of schools, adequate provision of educational infrastructures such as classrooms, teaching aids like projectors, computers, laboratories and libraries.

They also advised government and private operators in the sector to recruit more competent teachers and ensure they are well paid.

A teacher at Unity Secondary School, Tolu Complex, Apapa, Lagos, Mrs. Ayoola Aishat, appealed to the government to boost security around school premises for pupils to learn without fear.

Aisha said: “ Pupils are excited to resume after the short holiday. They have settled down and are learning fine. Authorities need to improve security in schools to stop theft and other social vices in schools.”

Another teacher at Express Secondary School, Lagos, Mr. John Adebayo, applauded the efforts of the government this last year in developing education. However, he said there is need to do more in providing good learning structures, like classroom blocks, electricity and water.

He also advised school operators to increase the pay package of teachers to give their best to pupils.

Also speaking, a parent, Mrs. Titilayo Saka, said it is important that while parents are fulfilling their responsibility towards the pupils, government and teachers must ensure that pupils have good time in school, in the new year.

She emphasised the need for a safe environment and ensuring that the school calendar is not disrupted this year.

Another parent, Ololade Adeola, appealed to parents and teachers to teach their wards in the way of God and ensure that they imbibe good morals in schools and at home.

On her part, a pupil, Miss Faith Gabriel, said: “I am happy to see the new year and second term in school. I pray that our parents will provide us with food; books and clothes while our teachers teach us well in schools. Government should also provide a good learning environment for pupils and provide security for us. I pray that I will do well in school this year.”

Contributing, Master Fatih Muhammmed, lamented inadequate learning equipment in the schools. He noted that present facilities are not encouraging enough.

He also wants the government to do more in providing classroom blocks and recruitment of more teachers.

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