One will continue to get baffled with the poor state of education in a developed economy in Nigeria like Lagos State, in spite of her financial muscle and huge investment the sector has witnessed in the last 23 years of Nigeria’s democrazy.
To accelerate the development of this sector and apart from its statutory ministry in charge of this sector, where a commissioner heads, a lot of agencies and boards were also set up to bring changes or reform the sector in the state so as to uplift its standard to the world level by making the environment more conducive for learning to achieve a better result.
Such agencies are Special Committee on Rehabilitation of Public Schools, SUPEB, Local Government Education Authority and others.
But, this is not the case as some of these public schools in the State are in pathetic situation, not conducive for learning.
From our investigation, most of these schools are in the state of neglects with the roofing sheets at the mercy of nature as they have been blown off, the blocks of classrooms have collapsed, while they are occupied by reptiles and other domestic animals.
The schools compound are overgrown by grass and weeds, showing no sign that it is a learning place.
A visit to New Oko-Oba Primary School in Ojokoro, Ifako-Ijaye LGA readily fits into this description.
The rooftops of the three storey buildings are already blown off, with some of the classrooms not conducive for reading, some class-rooms are totally abandonedd, flooded with water. A block of six classrooms are already in dillapidating condition, which may collapse sooner than later.
The local governments across the state did not help matters as they also show poor concerns to these schools buildings. They are only after what they can make with contracts awarded to their cronies. Well, that is not our issue here.
Most of these council chairmen rather embarked on projects that will put money into their pockets like the distribution of exercise books, instead of embarking on repairing the buildings for a more conducive environment. The building they won’t allow their children to attend.
Educational watchers are now wondering why these public schools are so neglected when there is the provision of allocation for them in, both the state and local budgets. They are no longer places of learning, but rather places of rearing birds or pen houses.
It is sound ridiculous to hear the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folashade Adefiloye to state that Lagos State Government had spent about N26 Billion on education in this year’s budget.
One begins to wonder how such huge amount have not reflected on the state of education infrastructure in the state, as the crises of managing these facilities become headaches. It is all corruption in high places.
Hear what a female principal said at a function about her school’s roofs ” our classrooms are leaking during rainfall. They fall on us and our students too. During this period, we, the teachers usually scramble on top of each other to find a place to hide to avoid the roof leakages, not soak us. We were only lucky that the rain did not fall during the just concluded SSS 3 examinations. It would have been worst.
Our investigation also revealed that some pupils and students don’t have tables and chairs in classes, they thereby sit down on the bare floor.
One needs to get across to all the six educational districts, you would see that it is all the same problems they have confronted with as you would open your mouth wide to lament the neglects and rots in public schools, both primary and secondary schools levels. Students are still studying under sheds in Lagos State.
All these are sad and annoying despite huge resources the state is said to have spent on education.