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LAGOS: Public SchooL Not Yet Uhuru

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One of the abandoned and dilapidated schools’ projects at St. Francis Junior Grammar School, Iwaya.

One of the abandoned and dilapidated schools’ projects at St. Francis Junior Grammar School, Iwaya.

Although there had been concrete efforts to provide better facilities in schools in Lagos State since the re-birth of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, the state of infrastructure is yet to match the excellence it is meant to portray. This is because in different parts of the state, there are still government owned schools, where physical facilities like school buildings, chalkboards, chairs are not adequate or in shabby state.

For instance, in some schools, due to inadequate classrooms to house the students or pupils for learning, there are between 66 and 71 students sitting in a classroom. This is against international best practices. That was the case, when this reporter visited Onike Secondary School. Some of the classrooms being used presently by the students are the old Jakande building, which are partially covered classrooms. It was gathered that, often times, students and the teacher abandon learning and teaching midway once it is raining, as the rainwater gets into the classroom unhindered.

A teacher, who spoke under anonymity in the school, said that it has not been a good experience teaching an overcrowded class. He stated that it has been a hectic time, not only for the teachers, but for the students as many of them often strain to hear the teacher’s instructions as a result of rowdiness.

In Oyewole Primary School, Mazamaza, though there was government intervention recently to improve the facilities in the school, the school’s toilet is in a very bad state. Pupils of the school are unable to make use of the toilets, forcing them to excrete in the open and dumping it anywhere they feel convenient in their eyes.

In one of the schools at Oshodi, Afolabi Primary School, the roof had been blown off, forcing the pupils, who are supposed to use the top floor of the building to abandon it, in the process, overcrowding the available classrooms. With no quick intervention from the government to quickly repair the damaged roof, parents and other stakeholders in the community also seem helpless about fixing the roof. Also, the roof of one of the blocks of classrooms in Oshodi Primary School has been terribly damaged too.

At Fazil Omar Secondary School, the school is really in need of classrooms as the ones available are overstretched. When the reporter visited, the Chemistry, Physics and Biology laboratories are being used as classrooms. It was learnt that it was when the school had no place to accommodate its students after converting about three of its laboratories into classrooms, that it decided to clean four of the classrooms on the ground floor of a block under constructionto accommodate the students. To make learning a bit better for the students in these classrooms, makeshift chalkboards had to be provided. It was even gathered that commercial and arts students jointly occupy one of the classes, with about 80 students in each of the classrooms. A staff noted that the school is likely to face a bigger challenge, when the new set of SS 1 students resumes for the new academic session. He said that despite the students had not resumed, facilities have already been overstretched and wondered, where the new students would be accommodated.

Some of the schools in Ojo Local Government, especially those under Osolu kingdom, though some of the buildings are in good shape, teachers are either not adequate and often find it difficult getting to school on time because of the difficult terrain of the community. The teachers stay outside these communities and to connect the location, which is riverine, they needed to board a boat, which could take about an hour to get the number of passengers for the journey to begin.


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