Oyo teachers, students, lament poor facilities, appeal for renovation
*Average of 100 pupils in a classroom
*Students don’t assimilate after 12noon
*Primary, secondary school use same toilet facility
*Principal, 12Teachers, 65 pupils use same classroom
*Six students to a bench
*Education takes lion share (22%) of state’s N226.6bn budget in 2021
*Oyo is ranked number 20 in literacy rate among Nigerian states by UNESCO 2012
Concerned citizens of Oyo State have called on the state governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde to come to the aid of two schools in Akinyele Local Government Area of the state in need of urgent renovation.
Apapa Moniya Primary School was established by the Western Region Government in 1954 to provide primary education for pupils in the community which it did effectively until recently when infrastructure in the school started decaying.
A worried citizen, Adekunle Adebayo is concerned about the future of the children of the school. He decided to wade into the situation, producing a short video documentary to project the need on ground if respite could come the way of the pupils and their teachers.
In the documentary with the link: https://youtu.be/Z0jxeSJJ-KY Adebayo said, “I was just passing bye in this Apapa Moniya Bagadaje community and I saw this primary school. It was established in 1954 and it is government owned, but what I saw took me aback because I saw that the infrastructure was gradually dilapidating.”
Stating further, he said that was what prompted him to investigate further. “That was what prompted me to further investigate. I asked if a government owned school could be in this condition. So I went to see things by myself,” he said.
He however made a short documentary and posted on the social media in which he talked with pupils and teachers of the school, appealing to the state government to rescue the school.
Meanwhile a secondary school, the Apapa Community Grammar School is currently ‘squatting’ on the primary school premises. The situation has further overstretched the inadequate facilities.
Vice Principal of the school, Mrs. Oloye Abosede Mopelola, narrated the ordeal of teachers and students of the secondary school in the documentary.
“We are facing a lot of challenges and I want to appreciate the teachers. It is because of the love we have for the students, that is why we are trying our best as unto the Lord. We don’t have classrooms. The two classrooms we can say we are managing are owned by SUBEB in the premises of the primary school housing us,” she said.
The Vice Principal stated further that, “If not for the efforts of the people that gave us some money to be able to renovate the two classrooms, we may not have anything to manage at all. No window, no door, no ceiling and that is how we have been managing it. But at least they were able to erect the structure and cover it.
“No furniture. No tables or even chairs enough for the students and teachers. We have to erect tents to accommodate the SS1 students. The teachers and the Vice Principal stay in the same classroom. We are 12 teachers and 65 students. The Principal has no office at all, she carries a chair to sit outside,” she explained.
Principal of the school Mrs. Bamigboye J. A. further narrated the challenges the school is facing. “I am the Principal of Apapa Community Grammar School, Moniya, Ibadan. We have so many challenges in terms of infrastructure. In actual fact, the secondary school is a tenant on the facility of the primary school housing us. We are on the land of a primary school as I speak.
“This community named Bagadaje is the one that gave us one and half acres of land not far from where we are which is still not developed. We are appealing to the governor to come to our rescue. We know our plea has not reached the governor and that is why our situation is still the same. We know he is capable and we know if this can get to him he will respond,” she said.
On toilet facilities, she said the school and its host use same toilet which is not conducive. “The toilet we are using is nothing to write home about. It is the primary school toilet that we are managing. We don’t have toilets, we don’t have laboratories for our science students, no equipment. We are begging our governor to look into our plight especially to build us blocks of classrooms on our permanent site we were given by the community,” she pleaded.
Mrs. Jolayemi Adenike Juliet is another teacher of the secondary school who narrates the ordeal of the students and teachers of the school.
“The challenges we are facing are enormous. The major one is the need of classrooms where we would be able to take our students because where there are no classrooms, there is nowhere to keep the students,” she said.
Meanwhile, she noted that the government recently sent four more teachers to the school to boost teaching. “Few days ago, the state government sent some teachers to the school. We have been looking for where they would take lectures comfortably. Apart from the fact that we the teachers are sitting down with JS3 students, which is not supposed to be, but because there is no staff room, no Vice Principal’s room, even the Principal doesn’t have an office,” she said.
For another teacher, Mr. Ogunshola, the story is same. He noted that some of the students take lectures under a canopy which is not conducive.
“We don’t have classrooms. Some of the students are even taking lectures under the canopy provided through the efforts of the teachers and people assisting us. There are no good toilets and we don’t have enough teachers,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ogunshola commended the state governor for sending four new teachers to the school recently to join the teaching staff. “We have to commend our governor, he recently gave us four teachers, out of the four, we were able to get a science teacher that can take the students in biology, physics and chemistry,” he said.
Talking about the harsh teaching and learning condition for the teachers and the students, Ogunshola said, once it is noon, the heat sets and students would be restless.
“The moment it is 12noon, you would pity the students. They cannot assimilate again, even the teachers would have been fagged out because of the heat. During this post COVID-19 era, the teaching environment is not conducive and the teachers cannot teach once it is anything after 12 noon.
However, a student of the school who simply introduced himself as Clement corroborated Ogunshola who said the attention span of the students ends at about noon.
“On major challenge we have is the heat,” Clement said, adding that, “When the sun is up, we feel the heat and we use hand fan to cool ourselves, then we the students cannot assimilate again. We would run to find shade away from the sun. When it rains, it falls on us and learning cannot take place again.”
One of the teachers of the host primary school, Mrs. LawaI also appealed to the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde to come to the rescue of the schools.
“We are facing a lot of challenges; we want to appeal to our able governor Seyi Makinde to come to our aid. We don’t have classrooms, some of the buildings have collapsed,” she lamented.
According to Lawal, an average of 100 pupils study in a class just because there are no enough classrooms to house the pupils.
“In some classes, we have 100 pupils, 105 pupils and 110 pupils. Six pupils use a bench and they can hardly write because we don’t have enough furniture. We need to have a perimeter fence. We are appealing to the good people of Oyo State especially in Akinyele Local Government Area to come to our aid. We know that the government cannot do it alone.
“We don’t toilets, we don’t have portable water and we need perimeter fence. Presently we have a mad man who lives in the community here. He always sleeps in our classrooms which is not safe for the pupils. He moves around with a cutlass.
“Sometimes ago, like three years ago, he came to machete one of the teachers, even the teacher is still on treatment. Sometimes he comes during the assembly and stays with the pupils, we cannot run away from our school,” she lamented.
Meanwhile, a community leader, Alhaji Hazan Oreola also appealed to the state government to assist the schools as some of the classes are endangering the pupils.
“We have a lot of challenges to the extent that our school buildings are falling apart because there is no renovation. Once it rains, the teachers cannot stay and we are afraid for the pupils. We don’t know where to put them, the government should assist us.
“We are presently in the rainy season again and we are afraid. Governor Seyi Makinde is a good governor and everybody loves him, we always pray for him and he will succeed. We want him to come and repair the schools,” he said.
As stakeholders in the school and the host community continue to call on the state governor, they are however hopeful the number one citizen would look into the plight of education in the state and improve on infrastructure.
However, the education sector may soon have a facelift in the South Western state as 21 percent of the state’s 2021 budget is committed to education, giving it the lion share of the budget of N266.64bn. With N56,348,375,635.55, representing 21 percent voted to Education in the state; N12bn more than what the sector got in 2020, stakeholders believe that the governor would swing into action to give the two schools a facelift if only the cries of the teachers and pupils could reach the governor.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Educational and Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in its 2012 survey revealed that Oyo State of Nigeria is ranked number 20 on the literacy rate in Nigeria.
With 45.8 percent score in the survey which has several indicators including the percentage of the population aged 15 to 24 years that can read and write, it is typically measured according to the ability to comprehend a short simple statement on everyday life.
With 45.8 percent in 2012, Oyo State trailed North Central Plateau State which scored 46.6 percent in the survey.
Lagos, Osun, Anambra, Ekiti and Ondo States occupied the first five slots with 92, 80, 75.1, 74.7 and 72.8 percent respectively. The situation may have changed after nine years however, but the statistics is what is available online as at the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, occupying the last ten slots in 2012 are Zamfara (33.9) percent, Kogi (33.5), Sokoto (30.1), Kaduna (29.3), Yobe (26.6), Kebbi (25.3), Jigawa (24.2), Taraba (23.3), Katsina (21.7) and Borno (14.5).
However, an electronic mail sent to Oyo State government to inquire about the state government’s efforts in rehabilitating the schools via the electronic address of the state government has not yielded any response after two weeks.