-Community requests for more state, council interventions
In less than two months, after the intervention by the Ikorodu Division Peace Initiative Limited (IDPIL) to rebuild the two dilapidated structures at the Local Government Primary School, Oreta in Igbogbo.Bayeku Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Ikorodu Division, Lagos State, Southwest, Nigeria, the main structure in the school, which is a block of six classrooms and 12 toilets, has been fully rehabilitated and ready to accommodate the pupils when they resume for session in few days time.
IDPIL had announced its readiness to fully rehabilitate the structure built in 70s, on Thursday, July 14, 2023, when the Chairman of the body’s education committee, Sir (Otunba) Ayodele Elesho, led other members to visit the school, following the reports by THE IMPACT newspaper, on May 10, 2023, titled, “Shameful State Of LG Primary School In Igbogbo/Bayeku Council Area”. The report showed the terrible state of the two structures in the school that was established in 1948.
In the follow – up story published on May 12, which was titled, “Residents Call Out Lagos Govt, Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA Authorities Over Dilapidated LG Pry School Oreta”, the reactions by residents to the initial story, were brought to reported.
Also, as a way of intervening in the issue, the administrators of THE IMPACT WhatsApp platform, also commenced fundraising towards the repair of the affected structures.
This was the situation when the IDPIL intervened, and when our reporter repeated his visit to the school on Wednesday, August 30, which was about a month and two weeks after, the building has been completely rehabilitated and ready for use.
In rehabilitating the structure, IDPIL completely replaced the roof which was changed from slate to aluminum, replaced the entire ceiling in the six classrooms and office, changed facilities in the 12 toilets attached to the building, re – floored the classes and replaced the louvres windows by using glass for those in the upper rows plastic for those in the lower rows.
IDPIL also provided septic tank and a borehole water system to service the toilets.
A block of 5 classrooms that is also been constructed by the Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA following the intervention of the IDPIL is also nearing completion
Otunba Ganiyu Abiru, Executive Secretary, IDPIL, speaking at the school during the visit by IDPIL, on Wednesday, said that the intervention is part of the SHEER agenda of the group, and effort to make the school environment conducive for pupils and teachers.
“IDPIL, as part of our SHEER community agenda, felt the need to touch the lives of pupils here. That was why we have fully rehabilitated the school. In fact, and by God’s grace, this building will be available for use upon resumption. The teachers and parents here have done so much, and that is why we are here to encourage them and ensure that our pupils have conducive environment to learn”, Otunba Abiru said.
“We have rehabilitated a block of six classrooms with toilets (12), septic tank and also painted the structure and provided everything that we think can make the school very comfortable.”
While commending the Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA authority for its own intervention, Otunba Abiru also charged the council chairman on the need to make provision for toilet facilities in the building that the council is constructing for the school.
“I am also aware that Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA has also intervened in constructing a block of five classrooms, but I want to appeal to the council to do more for the school”, he said.
“We expected that toilet facilities should accompanied the structure. You can’t build such a building without toilets. So, if you want pupils to enjoy the facility, there is need for toilet. I enjoin the LCDA to come back to the site to attach a toilet to the building, for the use and comfort of the pupils
“I want to commend the LCDA for its efforts. This would accelerate development in this town, but I want to passionately appeal to the local government chairman to, please, endeavor to build toilets. There are toilets here (in the building rehabilitated by the IDPIL), but when you consider the population, it would not be enough. I am appealing to them to continually monitor these schools”, Otunba Abiru appealed.
Otunba Abiru also charged the community to take charge of the facilities being provided, and should not expect the government to do everything.
He also charged the council on the need to provide adequate security for the school.
“The state government cannot do everything and also government cannot do everything. We expect the community to take ownership of this building (rehabilitated by the IDPIL), and the one being constructed by the local government. It is important to sustain the beauty and aesthetic of this environment”, the IDPIL Executive Secretary said.
“Again, we cannot say that because of this, the local government should abandon its responsibilities. One of the responsibilities is to ensure that education gets to every pupil in the community, and I hope that the council will ensure this.
“One thing, as you rightly said, is to build a structure like this and another thing is to sustain it. And how do you sustain it? It’s by regular maintenance, care and ensure that adequate monitoring is done.
“I also want to appeal to the Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA, particularly to the Chairman, this is a big school, and as a result, there is need for security for buildings and facilities like we have here. When there is no security, you will give room for miscreants and urchins to embarrass the teachers. I want to appeal that they should provide security”, Otunba Abiru charged.
The Baale of Oreta, Chief Biliamin Babatunde Fasanya, commended the IDPIL, for its intervention and assured that the community will take ownership of the sructures.
“We really appreciate all that the IDPIL has done, and our prayer is that the Almighty God that has given them the energy, wealth and power used in making sure that this place (school) come to this level will continue to be with them, because the school was nothing to write home about but right now, we are very proud of the school and the IDPIL that rehabilitated the school”, Baale said.
“We are ready to take ownership and take care of the school, most especially that the members of the Parents Forum and the pupils are members of this community, we are prepared to make sure that the school goes on”.
The traditional head of Oreta, however, appealed to both the State and Local governments on the need to provide other facilities.
“Our appeal to the government is that we have written series of letters to request for all that are required in this school, and the local government keeps assuring us that they are coming and we have the belief that they will still come”, he said.
Alhaji Shakiru Musa, a resident of Oreta, who owns a sport house in the school, also commended the IDPIL’s intervention.
“We are really appreciative of the rehabilitation work done by the IDPIL in this school. We have been writing to the government for over two years on the need to intervene in the school, but all to no avail “, he said.
“But it was when the IDPIL intervened in rehabilitating this structure that the Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA, also came to start the construction of a block of classrooms. We have been calling on them before now, but they did not respond until the IDPIL came around”.
He also charged the state and local governments on the need to provide more structures to cater for the upsurge of enrolment that the school will experience following the intervention by the IDPIL and the council.
“With these rehabilitated structures, residents should endeavor to enroll their children and wards in the school.
“We are also appealing to the government for more classrooms. We still need more structures in this school, and there are still lands that can accommodate more buildings.
Mr Biola, another resident, while appreciating the IDPIL for the rehabilitated structure, also appealed to the state government to provide more classrooms for the school.
He equally pleaded with the state government on the need to reconstruct the Igbogbo- Oreta road which he said is affecting education and the lives of residents in the community.
“We are appreciative of the intervention of the IDPIL in rehabilitating this school. They pledged to make the structure available for pupils on resumption, and here is the structure ready for the pupils to make used of, when they return to school”, he said.
“We are still in need of more buildings, and we are appealing for the federal, state and local government interventions. We also thank the Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA, for its effort in also coming around to build a block of classrooms.
“This is an ancient town; we are appealing to the government to also intervene in rehabilitating the Igbogbo – Oreta road which is in a terrible state. It dilapidated condition of the road is affecting the productivity of the teachers, especially during the raining season when it is always difficult to move on it”, he said.