Community craves secondary schools, roads-The Nation
Dwellers of Ibeju-lekki have lamented the poor state of accessing education in the community during a sensitisation programme on governance of primary school education for community stakeholders.
The programme, which is an initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with Human Development Initiative(HDI), is a four-year programme which would be done in four states – Kano, Enugu, Lagos and Abuja. It would be carried out in local government areas of the aforementioned states.
Speaking at Ibeju-lekki Local Government Education Area, the youth leader of Arapagi, a community in Ibeju, Lasisi Morufu said the community has no secondary school, that and their children go by sea to school in a neighbouring community.
He said: “In Ibeju-lekki, the road leading to some areas are not motorable. The children have to cross the river before they get to school. This is a threat to life. This has discouraged some of them from going to school. There is no secondary school in Arapagi. We only have about five primary schools in this area and when these children are done with primary school, they are being posted far from home. Every morning, you will see children conveyed in a boat to cross the lagoon before they can get to school. We are all crying out to government to help us with at least a secondary school here.”
He continued: “This river, which the children pass through, is now being dredged. We have concentrated dredging companies and about 10 of them dredging sand from that river. Before they used to use paddle to pave their way on water but that is no longer possible because the river is getting deeper by day. This can lead to loss of lives. This community has been kicking against dredgers; we really need the government to help us.’’
He noted the shortage of teachers in the community, adding that the problem arose because teachers posted to the area reluctantly stayed because of inaccessibility to good roads.
“When you have a teacher handling two classes, how convenient is that let alone teaching about eight subjects for each class in a day? Teachers here are really trying their best,” he added.
The Education Secretary, Ibeju-lekki, Olatunde Talu, who once taught in Arapagi corroborated Morufu. Nonetheless, he hoped the sensitisation would go a long way in informing the dwellers of their role in education, and hold the government accountable for sound education.
Participants also frowned against the non-availability of secondary schools, which they attributed to the failure of the government to address their needs.
Rev.Taiwo Oluwole of Redeemed Church enlightened participants on the role of the councils in primary education. He said the mis-use of federal and state financial allocation for primary education, non-provision of the conducive classrooms and teaching aids, shortage of teachers, among others, were lapses which needed to be rectified for a better primary education.
Sunday Alade, an engineer, admonished the stakeholders to complement the government’s efforts through proper utilisation and monitoring of infrastructure provided for the community’s benefit. He said communities must see education as a collective responsibility.
He explained that children were faced with some challenges, such as lack of self-concept, lack of necessary materials, improper guidance and counselling, poor study habits, hostility of teachers to students among others. Alade admonished parents to avail their children the opportunity to access primary education as mandatory by the Federal Government, in line with the statuted Child Right Act and Universal Basic Education (UBE) Act.
President, Out-of-School Children Empowerment Foundation (OSCEF) an implementing partner for the USAID programme, Mr Akeem Kelani, said the programme is aimed at educating stakeholders at the grass roots and emphasise the role of local government in primary education.