As students resume to schools today across Lagos State, many of them would be resuming into dilapidated structures while many others would be contending with lack of infrastructures as the promise by the new administration in the state, led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to rehabilitate primary and secondary schools in the state , has failed to materialized. In Ikorodu Division , public schools are practically begging for urgent intervention as many of them do not have adequate infrastructures like blocks of classrooms, benches, chairs, toilets facilities fence and security.
Residents of the State were given the assurance over the rehabilitation on Monday, July 1, 2019, when the Governor embarked on tour of schools , starting from the Maryland Primary School, Maryland,Lagos.
Dr Obafemi Kadri Hamzat, his deputy , represented him on the tour.
But many residents in Ikorodu Division are asking when the government would pay attention to the dilapidated schools in the division.
Many of the schools that children attend in Ikorodu Division are like shanties and are not fit for animals, let alone human beings.
Secondary schools like Oriwu Model Junior School, Ikorodu, United High Junior School, Ikorodu, Keme Balogun Junior Secondary School, Ibeshe, Ipakodo Junior Secondary School, Ipakodo, Yewa Junior Secondary School, Ikorodu and United High School, Odogunyan Junior Secondary School, Odogunyan , and many others , are in dire need of modern structures to accommodate there students.
Anglican Primary School, Ikorodu, Salvation Army Primary School, Ikorodu, Aga Primary School, Ikorodu, Methodist Primary School, Ibeshe, Zumratul Islamiyyah Primary School, Odogunyan, Farm Settlement Primary School, Odogunyan, Ahmadiyya Primary School, Ijede, Anglican Primary School, Ijede, and many others , also need government’s attention in the area of structures.
The old Jakande block of classrooms accommodating students in Ipakodo Community Junior Secondary School in Ikorodu West Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Ikorodu, had suffered four major collapses in the last 7 years or thereabout, our investigation revealed.
The recent occurrence was on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, which collapsed on some students. Previous unfortunate collapses in the school were in 2013, 2017 and 2018.
Keme Junior Secondary, THE IMPACT gathered , had also suffered collapse to their structures on more than one occasion.
Most schools in the six councils in the division also lack benches, chairs, water, toilet facility and security.
THE IMPACT gathered that government has stopped paying for security/gatemen salaries, a development which, according to report gathered , has further put more pressure on the schools’ principals and parents’ forum.
While Zumratul Islamiyyah Primary School, Odogunyan, has been suffering from flooding which usually prevent staff members and pupils from going to school whenever it rains. While Yewa Grammar School and Aga Primary School, which share same compound, are battling erosion problem which is seriously threatening there existence, other schools in the
division battle with other challenges aside structural and infrastructural problems.
Mr Monday Ohi Obadan, a community leader in Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA and social media commentator , speaking with THE IMPACT on the issue, stated that he’s yet to see the effect of the promise made by the state to rehabilitate schools , on the only school in his area at Offin.
He also complained that the school is overstretched.
“ I have not noticed any “rehabilitation” work in any public school in my area.In fact and in effect , the only public school in Ofin, which is Offin-Ile Anglican Primary School, is overstretched, overwhelmed and partly enclosed with a fence in…
Prince Tijani , a member of the Ikorodu Division Youths Movement and a youth leader in Isiu in Ikorodu North LCDA, while corroborating Obadan’s statement, also stated that no such thing is happening in Ikorodu North.
“Nothing is happening here in Isiwu in terms of the rehabilitation promised by the state government for both primary and secondary schools in the state.
Comrade Samson Bisiriyu, the Executive Director, Ikorodu Division Youths Movement , has also expressed his disappointment over the state of many public schools in the division.
“Nothing has changed. I was weeping when I passed through Salvation Army Primary School at Onishigida in Ikorodu, same with United Junior High School at Allison Street. No improvement in the poor conditions of the schools and we are expecting the children to perform excellently well in academics and our government is not working to assist. Is it possible to give what you don’t have?” ,he queried.
“I hope the newly appointed Commissioner for Education and the Governor will do something urgently before the children resume back for a new session”.
He described the failure of successive governments in the state to replace the blocks of classrooms built across the state by the administration of Alhaji Lateef Jakande in early 80s as a shame.
“It is shameful that ‘Baba’ Jakande blocks of classrooms built in 1982 still exist in our public schools. In Lagos State, public schools’ pupils and students are writing exams on the floor, sitting on blocks while there is no functional library . What a failed system” , he lamented.
Mr Hassan, a lecturer with Yaba College of Technology , charged government to start implementing its policies.
“All I can say about this government is that, they are tilting towards the style of last government.
“Too much talk, less action……pronouncement on Laspotech for close to 2 months, yet, no action up till now”.
Mrs Mustapha, a retired head teacher , also stated that there has been no intervention as promised by the government in Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA.
“Nothing has been done here.
“ U.A.M.C Eleja needs desks and benches and repair of doors while Lajo Community Pry School needs fence.
Oluwakemi Hassan ((a.k.a Bashexy) , a music promoter and community activist , also expressed disappointment over what he described as ‘failed promised’.
“Will it be too early to tag this ‘promised and failed’ ?
“The Governor, pledged on Monday 1st of July, 2019, to work on the state of schools in Lagos and the Deputy Governor embarked on tour to physically assess the state of facilities in schools across the state .Many of us see this as a sign of good things to come in terms of policy implementation because the step is meant to improve education in all state owned primary and secondary schools.
“This was meant to be done during the holiday but few weeks to resumption , there seems to be nothing yet on ground in this regard at least in Ikorodu Division. This I’m certain about.
“It is always sad and disheartening when we are made to believe that all we can get from our government is sweet talk without implementation.
“By now, we should not be talking about not getting the said rehabilitation started but rather, we should be discussing the possibility of getting the work done before resumption.
“Our Educational sector, for no reason , shouldn’t be neglected. The government schools obviously need rehabilitation, YES; that we all know but who is going to prioritize this ? The management & system of these schools also need more supervision”.
He called on the government to make public schools more attractive by improving on its infrastructures.
“It is important to prepare our children than to repair adults. No matter how you want to debate it, this has a major role to play in the development of our state. The Government must wake up to the reality of making state schools more attractive and beneficiary like it used to be in the 80s.
It would be recalled that the Lagos State Governor , during the tour of public primary and secondary schools across the state, vowed that the move was the beginning of the implementation of its plans to improve the quality of education in all the state-owned schools, adding that the resolve is one of the cardinal programmes of his administration.
The tour, the Governor stated , was to physically assess the state of facilities.
The Governor also said that immediate repairs and rehabilitation of dilapidated facilities would be the first phase of the plan to strengthen public schools, pointing out that the tour was to carry out complete assessment of the facilities to be rehabilitated.
The Deputy Governor,Dr Hamzat, who represented the governor on the tour, identified provision of quality education as a top priority of the present administration, stressing that the environment in which pupils learn requires sanitisation in order to get quality output.
He said: “The reason why we are embarking on a tour of our schools is to physically assess the quality of facilities and see things for ourselves. We are choosing schools that are in bad shapes for immediate rehabilitation. Children will be going on holiday; before they come back, we want to see what we can immediately fix, so that these pupils won’t be at disadvantage in the area of learning.
“Our children must be protected from harsh weather when they are in school. We want to ensure that the pupils are as comfortable as they should be. If it is the dilapidated classrooms we are fixing immediately in these schools, this would go a long way in reducing overcrowding in our schools. But, we understand the challenges vary from one school to another; we are committed to changing their conditions for the future of our children and state.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Gbenga Akosile , in a phone chat with our reporter , restated the government’s commitment to providing quality education in the state.
“Everything that the governor has promised, his government would deliver” , he assured.
He stated that the government has identified problems and already implementing solutions to some of these challenges that residents in the state are facing.
The governor’s press secretary , who stated that it would be difficult for the governor to rehabilitate all the public schools in Lagos within three months , also added that efforts of government to ensure that roads in the state are motorable is yielding results as commuters are now spending less time on the road.
He assured that Ikorodu and other parts of the state would soon feel the presence of Sanwo-Olu’s government in term of road reconstruction, upgrade in education facilities and other areas.
Akosile appealed to Ikorodu residents to bear with the government for a little while adding that no part of the state would be left out of the present government inclusive governance.