In this second report on the situation of public schools in the state, Aladire Shukurat Saka reports that the schools are neglected by the government.
At Pakata Junior Secondary School in Ilorin West Local Government of Kwara State, the students are suffering. They either bring chairs from home or sit on the dusty floor of the classrooms in 3 blocks of 12 classrooms.
The students who bring their own desks and chairs face other hurdles: rain leaks from the perforated roof and blackboards are shabby.
The classes are without doors and windows as harmattan blows in dusty dry wind.
There is another negligence too. “The toilet has caused a lot of accidents for both staff and students and I almost tripped there the last time I used it,” said a teacher who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she was not authorised to speak to the press.
“We’ve written so many letters to the government to inform them of the condition of the school and how we need chairs and tables urgently but nothing has been done on it,” the teacher added.
Last September after it rained, students picked up brooms to sweep away the water logged in their classes. During rain, teaching would stop and students would gather in a corner where the roofs were not leaky.
Another neglected school is Sango Secondary School Ilorin, popularly known as Eleboto. It is located at the Ilorin South Local Government. The school consists of 2 primary schools: Sango School A & B and secondary school. It’s one of the earliest primary schools in Ilorin and Its junior secondary section was established in 2007 when UBE (Universal Basic Education) was introduced in Kwara State.
The junior secondary section has more than 700 students with 10 classrooms and only 3 classrooms that need only renovation while the remaining classes need to be rebuilt because there is no ceiling, doors, window, and proper flooring. The school’s toilet is in a shabby condition and it is only used by the staff while the students make use of the nearby bushes.
“During the coronavirus break, due to lack of proper fence and security, the principal office was burglarised and most of the school documents were stolen,” said a teacher who did not want her name to be mentioned.
“We used to buy chalks, ask the students to contribute money for duster,” the teacher said. We buy chalkboards, chairs and tables for the student, renovate the principal’s office, the staff rooms, toilet and some classes from the money gotten from students as PTA levy.”
At Oke- Adini Secondary School, the neglect by the government is glaring. The school lacks toilets while teachers and students use the nearby bushes to relieve themselves. Some of the classrooms lack doors, windows, chairs and desks. Most of the classrooms do not have proper roofing and some buildings in the school have collapsed while others are in urgent need for rehabilitation.
The school is the only public school in the Oke_Adini area and its environs. The school caters for hundreds of students in both secondary and primary education.
The school administrators expressed disappointment at the level of infrastructural decay and neglect by the government.
The building used by the JSS3 student appears new because it was built in 2013 as part of the constituency project from the former senator representing Ilorin South.
“The little money we get from the money paid by the students as PTA levy is what the school is using in running the school,” said one of the school administrators who spoke to our reporter on the condition of anonymity.
The same level of neglect is also happening at Lanwa Secondary School, located at Moro Local Government Area. The school is the only secondary school serving communities like Budo Ode, Lanwa and others.
The school has previously been renovated and managed by SDF (Special Development Fund) and the communities. It has 4 blocks of 8 classrooms, and a computer room which was built by SDF in 2011.
Like others, the school lacks toilets. It does not have a library and science laboratory. Most of the classrooms do not have windows, proper flooring and good ceiling. The desks and chairs are insufficient, forcing some students to sit on the floor.
Parents and teachers who spoke to our correspondent pleaded for urgent interventions from the state government to enable the students to learn in a conducive environment.
“The school has large land and space that can contain more classrooms if the government is ready to build for us,” said a parent. “We do not have options as to the secondary school our kids will go, except this one.”
Another school in a sordid condition is the Government Day Secondary School in Amule. The school lacks toilets, library and laboratory. Most of the classes are without chairs, tables, windows, doors, good floor and proper roofing.
The school is located at Ilorin East Local Government with hundreds of students in junior and senior classes.
“Even though the school is in the town and people see it, you will think the government will be ashamed of the status of the school,” said a teacher at the school. “A lot of letters have been written to them and they’ve always promised to do something about it,” she added.
So far skeletal rehabilitation has been carried out with the money from the levies on students but not enough to conduct comprehensive renovation of the decaying facilities in the school.
Schools Report is an initiative of the Civic Media Lab, to improve the standard of basic education across the country, with support from MaArthur Foundation.