Population Explosion In A Lagos School, Students Sit Outside For Lesson


Mr. Ray was very elated when his daughter got admission into one of the public  secondary schools in Lagos State, southwest Nigeria. His daughter had just graduated  from a private primary school.

Before now, he had heard of the supposed great innovation and transformation in  public schools in the state by the Governor Babatunde Fashola administration. He had  heard the media hype about how public schools in the state were now better than  private secondary schools.

His joy knew no bounds when the name of his daughter was among the over 800 students  admitted into Junior Secondary School, JSS 1 in the public secondary school. He  quickly enrolled his daughter and she started school.

Ray’s joy soon evaporated and his senses returned. On a particular day, he paid a  visit to the school and to his consternation, he saw his daughter and hundreds of  JSS one students sitting outside, in the blazing sun taking a lesson. There was no  class to house the students because a particular building which was supposed to  house the students was uncompleted.

Ray had never before seen this kind of scenario where students take lectures in the  open. It was only in far away northern Nigeria, where education is still at its  lowest ebb, that such a thing was discovered, and that was some years ago, but here  is a school in Lagos, the acclaimed Centre of Excellence, in the 21st century having  children taking lessons without a roof over their head, and at the mercy of the  elements.

This is a classic example of Iba Estate Junior Secondary School in Iba Local Council  Development Area, LCDA. This is a school where the future of the students is in  jeopardy. They are rotting away and nothing is being done about it.

Several weeks later after the students took lessons in the open, the school  authority managed to roof the building and moved the students inside, but they were  like grasshoppers inside the classes. When P.M.Metro visited the school, it was an  appalling sight.

The classes were choked up with no space to move around. The was barely enough space  meant the teacher. Some who could not get a place to sit simply squatted close to  the teacher to listen and take notes.

In one arm of the JSS classes, several pupils who could not get a place to sit in  the class peeped through the window to listen to the teacher. Many students put  their chairs and benches in the class corridor and whiled away time as the teacher  taught the rest of the class. The students in the corridor could not hear what the  teacher was saying. They simply engaged in chatting, playing and do all sorts of  things.

In JSS three, some students were seen peeping through the window to take notes. A  student said they decided to stay outside and peep through the window to take noted  because there was no place for them in the class. Apart from this, there was no way  students sitting at the back in some of the classes could hear what the teacher was  saying.

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Over 100 students were seen in each class. The classes were simply overcrowded and  the students showing were clearly restless. There was no way students learning under  this environment could grasp anything. They would definitely end up failures.

The authorities of the school has now capitalized on the inadequacy of classrooms to  extort money from the students illegally through the Parents’ Forum.

Under the forum, each of the 2,312 students was required to pay N600, summing up to  over N1 million to purchase canopies to be put outside for students to stay under to  take lessons. Mrs. Labiran is the chairman of the forum. The money charged the  students is collected by a teacher in the school without the knowledge of the state  government.

Prince Olu-Omo Abisagbo is the Principal of the school. Thinking we were parents of  some students in the school, he opened up to us, saying that the situation in the  school was appalling and begged us to help them appeal to the state government to  come to the aid of the school.

He said the population of the school is 2,312, which far outstretched the facilities  in the school, adding that “since government said they are building schools, we are  waiting for them.”

Speaking with us on phone and thinking we were parents, the chairman of the Parents  Forum, Labiran stated that some students could not write examinations last term  because there was no place for them to sit in the classrooms, adding that the  parents met to find ways to address the ugly trend.

According to her, each parent had been asked to pay N600 to purchase canopies to be  erected outside for the students to take lessons, adding that some parents had  already paid. She said if the school was to wait for the uncompleted building in the  school to be completed, it would take time, hence, the need to pay the money to buy  canopies.

Iba Estate Junior Secondary School is not the only school in the Lagos metropolis  with population explosion and inadequate classes, there are several others still  begging for attention and if nothing urgent is done, the future of these students is  certainly bleak.

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