Parents Forum To Lagos Govt: Odogunyan Junior School As Community Institution Must Domicile In Odogunyan

Kunle Adelabu

The Ikorodu Divisional Parents’ Forum has reiterated its position that the Odogunyan Junior Community Secondary School is a community institution which must domicile within the Odogunyan community area of Ikorodu Division, Lagos State, Southwest, Nigeria.

The forum made the assertion on Wednesday, after a meeting between the executives of the Ikorodu Divisional Parents’ Forum and that of the Odogunyan Junior Community Secondary School, at the premises of the Odogunyan Junior Community Secondary School.

The concerned parents, who said that they were aware of the visit by the officials of the Ministry of Education to the school on Monday and Tuesday, but yet to know the position of the government on the state of the school, and where their children will be permanently located to receive lessons, also stated that they are not in any way fighting with the government.

The executives of the Parent’s Forum toured the Odogunyan Senior Community School, where the JSS One students were accommodated, and Zumratul Islammiyyah Primary School, Odogunyan, where the JSS two students were moved, to have first hand information about their see their conditions.

After touring the school premises, and later held a meeting to review situations, the Chairman, Parents’ Forum, Ikorodu Division, Mr Jenrade Mokolade, described the situation at the Zumratul Islammiyyah Primary School, Odogunyan, as not satisfactory.

Mr Jenrade, who is also the Financial Secretary, Parents’ Forum, Lagos State and Chairman, Parents’ Forum, Education District II covering Shomolu, Kosofe and Ikorodu, said that parents are in darkness over what the government’s plans are for their children that have been dispersed to three different schools, since a state of emergency was declared in Odogunyan Junior Community School.

He emphasized that the position of the parents’ forum is that the school must domicile within the Odogunyan community, since it is a community school.

“Basically, we learnt that officials of the state government came from the office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and District II, Maryland, to inspect the school on Monday and Tuesday. But at the moment, we don’t know their position yet”, he said.

“We don’t know whether they are building new structures for our children at the Odogunyan Junior School, Odogunyan premises.

“We are also not fighting them over what they plan to do at the Ikorodu High School, Apeka, Ikorodu, but our stand still remains that whatever that they wanted to do about the school, it must be within the Odogunyan community.

“The school must be retained here in Odogunyan, because it is a community school. It is not a school that the government can take away from here. Do they expect our children to be going to Apeka from Odogunyan?”, Mr Jenrade asked rhetorically.

“Our position is that the school is a community school, and it must be domicile here in Odogunyan. We don’t want anything short of that”, he re-emphasized.

Alhaji Shuaib Saliu, Chairman, Parents’ Forum, Odogunyan Junior Community Secondary School, Odogunyan, also speaking with THE IMPACT, also maintained that students of the Odogunyan Junior Secondary School, Odogunyan, must be retained in the school and not move to another community.

He said that parents are not happy with the decision to build a permanent school building for them in another school and another community.

“As stated by our Divisional Chairman, that is our position and that is why we are meeting today. This community school is serving about 15 other communities, and we are not happy about the decision of the government at all, to move our students to another community. The decision is greatly disturbing”, he said.

“In all, our stance is that they should retain our school here in our community. We have lost so much lives and we don’t want to lose any of our children again”.

The Odogunyan Junior School Parents’ Forum Chairman, also said that parents are not comfortable with the decision of the government, because of the number of students that have been lost the relocation of the school to the Ikorodu High School, Apeka in lkorodu, and the economic implications on them.

“The situation is also very difficult for parents, most of who cannot afford the cost of sending their children to long distance. Some of these children whose parents cannot afford their transport fare, do join tipper at Odogunyan, to go to the Ikorodu High School at Apeka”, he said.

“We are not fighting the government, but only appealing to them because of our children”.

A former Supervisory Councilor, Special Duties & Market Affairs, Ikorodu North LCDA, Mrs Idiat Agoro, said that the community is totally opposed to the decision to move the junior school away from the community.

Agoro, who is a political leader and grassroots mobiliser in Odogunyan, also stated that the government, which has not done anything for Odogunyan community, cannot take away the only thing that the community is benefiting from.

“We are totally opposed to the movement of our children to Apeka. Odogunyan Junior Community Secondary School still stands here in Odogunyan. The school is serving many communities; from Ita – Oluwo to Losi Oba, Losi Alara, Ewu – Owa, Odo – Nla, Odo – Kekere and Igbosoro among many others”, Mrs Agoro.

“So, it is not possible for the government to pull down this school, and move our students to Apeka. It is not possible.

“We know the number of votes that always come out from here and we will restrict our children from going, if they insist on taking them away from Odogunyan. Odogunyan is bigger than many local governments.

“We have not benefitted anything from the government, yet, they still want to deprive us of the school that will benefit our children. We are not going to accept that.

“If they still want to continue the building of the classrooms at the Ikorodu High School, that is fine and good luck to the school and Apeka, but Odogunyan Junior Secondary School still remains here. They must give us what we deserve here”, she said.

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