During rainy season learning of pupils occupying the leaky classroom pupils had been disrupted. The classrooms were not plastered, dusty, lacked sufficient chairs and the teachers barely managed to sit comfortably on squeaky seats complemented by tables weakened by writing materials, lesson notes and notebooks.
The stretch of road leading to Community Primary School located on kilometre 15 Lagos/Ibadan Expressway in Warewa, Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State is tarred. But the attractiveness of the road is punctuated by a ramshackle building overlooking it.
The building, which is the first contact when a visitor enters the school compound, is unpainted, algae-infested and leaky. Besides, it will be hard to believe that it is a classroom not only because it is not plastered but also for its shed-like structure despite the four iron poles fortifying the broken, front part.
Our correspondent who visited the school on Tuesday discovered that the pupils and their teachers had been grappling with the situation since its establishment in 2007.
It was also gathered that authorities of the school often had challenges whenever it rained. One of the teachers who refused to give her name told SUNDAY PUNCH that learning of pupils occupying the classroom had been disrupted many times during rainy season. The teacher also added that the block of classrooms was donated by the Parent Teacher Association when the school was established in 2007. It is occupied by the kindergarten and nursery sections of the school.
“The roof is leaky hence it is not often a pleasant experience whenever it rains. Everywhere in the classroom would be flooded and the pupils’ bags soaked. It is usually tough if the wind precedes the rain. There is no way we can continue with teaching in such a situation because we have to take the pupils to one of the congested classes in the school,” the teacher said.
Apart from the building, a block of three classrooms and an office was also constructed during the administration of a former Ifo Local Government Chairman, Mr. Sikirulai Ogundele, and commissioned on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 by the then government of Otunba Gbenga Daniel. The three classrooms pitiably cast semblance of a school on the learning centre even though their interior was nothing to write home about.
The classrooms were not plastered, dusty, lacked sufficient chairs and the teachers barely managed to sit comfortably on squeaky seats complemented by tables weakened by writing materials, lesson notes and notebooks.
SUNDAY PUNCH gathered that each of the three classrooms accommodates two classes of pupils. For instance, the first classroom is populated by primary one and two; the second accommodates primary three and four while the third classroom houses primary five and six pupils.
Primary one has 27 pupils, primary 2; 27, primary 3; 30, primary four; 27, while primaries five and six has 27 pupils each. There had been no addition to the classrooms by subsequent governments despite the school’s expanse land.
Our correspondent observed that merging of the classes made the teachers to be cautious of raising their voices while teaching so as not to disturb each other since the combined classes were not partitioned.
A teacher in the school who described the situation as worrisome said it could hinder quality learning since pupils too would be careful not to express themselves too loud in order not to disturb their counterparts learning at the other side of the classroom.
There is also no toilet facility in the school which caters for neighbouring communities such as Warewa, Banku, Mokore and Arigbede among others. This development, SUNDAY PUNCH learnt, made the pupils and the teachers resort to open defecation whenever they wanted to ease their bowels. As our correspondent walked round the school compound, some of the pupils were seen running to the bushy part of the school to answer the call of nature.
The unfenced structure of the compound had exposed it to many untoward situations like serving as a rendezvous for social miscreants.
According to one of the teachers, the school authorities always discover each morning that some unknown individuals used the first classroom the night before.
The teacher added, “Some times, we resume to the school to see butts of cigarettes and Indian hemp. We had seen undergarments littering the classrooms before. It is something we cannot help but we know that if the school is fenced and the classrooms are secured, we will not witness such cases. Besides, people come to the compound to play football and they had damage parts of the roof of one of the classrooms.’’
The teacher stated that there was a time a petroleum pipeline burst close to the school and the teachers felt the development could endanger their lives and those of the pupils hence their resolve to get the attention of the local government.
The educator said there was no response from the government despite their pleas to come to their aid.
However, some of the needs of the school, according to its authorities, included fencing of the school, provision of furniture, computers, textbooks, library, classrooms, generating sets, teaching aids, toilet facility and potable water.
When contacted for his reaction on the state of the school, Commissioner for Education, Ogun State, Mr. Segun Odubela, who said he was aware of the poor condition of the school, added that plans were underway to renovate it in the next phase of renovation of schools in the state.
He said, “I particularly know the school. It is part of the next batch of schools to be refurbished.’’
On his part, Chairman, Ifo Local Government, Mr. Oluwole Enilolobo, said the school was not the only one lacking adequate learning facilities in the council area.
He noted that there were some schools in the local government with worse situation, adding that the council was attending to them in phases.
Enilolobo stated, “We are trying to intervene in all the schools in phases. There are 96 primary schools in the council area. The allocation to the council is nothing to write home about even as we have to pay salaries and attend to other needs such as grading of roads in the local government area.”
He debunked the allegation that the council did not take any step when the issue of burst pipeline was reported to it.
“When the case of a burst petroleum pipeline near the school was reported to us by the school authorities, we advised them to first ensure the safety of the pupils. We later contacted the relevant authorities who handled the case. The role played by the council was indirect because we immediately met with the people connected with the fixing of damaged pipelines. It was wrong to say we did not respond because the council officers were not the ones who handled the case directly. We did what we should do,” Enilolobo said. (Punch)