Classroom congestion: Lagos Assembly urges Education Ministry to visit schools

Officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Education have been urged to visit schools in the Badagry area of the state for proper assessment of the infrastructural requirements of the schools.

The Education Committee of the State House of Assembly added during visits to schools under District 5 headed by the Tutor General/Permanent Secretary, Mr Erinle Olumide Olufolami to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols as the students are writing West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) on Thursday, that the schools in Badagry need rehabilitation.

The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Yinka Ogundimu said that despite the fact that they were going around the schools in the state to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols, they were concerned about the state of infrastructure in the schools.

Speaking at Araromi Ilogbo Senior Secondary School, Oko Afo, Badagry, Hon. Yinka Ogundimu said that there was a population explosion in the school, and that they lacked enough classrooms/furniture, and that the teachers there were not enough.

Ogumdimu then urged the state Ministry of Education to visit the schools, while lamenting that having about 160 students in a classroom did not give room for social disbanding.

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The Principal of the school, Mr Abayomi Mustapha Amuni had told the Committee that they had problems of teachers, classrooms and furniture and that the population of the students is 3,800.

This was also the case at Araromi Ilogbo Junior Secondary Schools, where the committee was received by the Principal, Mr Abayomi Abraham Ogundimu stated that the population of the school was much with 5000 students and an average of 170 in one class.

“We can still have more schools in the compound. The Ministry of Education needs to come here and see what to be done. A lot of constructions are ongoing in the school, but they are not enough,” he said.

The Committee was also at Alternative High School For Girls in Agboju, Amuwo Odofin, where the Principal, Mrs Ogunye Abimbola said that they had water in the toilets, washing hand basin and water in the laboratory, check the temperature of the students at the gate and ensure that the students clean their hands with sanitizers to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

But, Hon. Ogundimu said that their compliance with COVID-19 protocols was not okay.

“The security man does not have knowledge of the procedure, he is looking for colour, how does that prevent COVID-19?

“You need someone who has knowledge of the issue to handle the inferred thermometer.

“This has been the problem in many of the schools we have visited. Your procedure is not working and the use of nose mask is not acceptable as it is not well used by the staff, we will come back here soon to see how you are complying,” he said.

The Committee also visited Awori Ajeromi Junior Grammar School and they were received by the Vice Principal, Mrs Bolanle Adebonajo, while the Principal of Awori Ajeromi Senior Grammar School, Mrs Bosede Gladys Oyeleye also played host to the Committee.

Ajara Senior Secondary School, Ajara, Badagry Principal, Padonu Oluyemisi Dosunmu Principal, 1746 students. We have eight classrooms and converted the laboratories to classrooms.  We have 11 functional classrooms and our building under construction has been abandoned for four years by the government. Our performance in 2019 WASSCE was 30% due to an issue in one of the subjects.

Also at Ajara Junior Grammar School, Ajara, the Vice Principal of the school, Mr Fatai Adenuga, Principal stated that they had 2,525 students with 17 classes.

Adenuga said that they had 17 teachers in the school, but that they needed teachers in CRK, PHE, Mathematics, Intro-Tech and others.

He said that the school had just engaged two teachers who would be paid through the new running cost of the school.

Responding, Hon. Ogundimu said that the classrooms were inadequate and that it was not possible to divide the classrooms amongst the students.

“We want to know how you will cope. The school needs teachers in mathematics and other related subjects for the students.

“The major challenge in school is that of space. Most of the problems would be handled by the TG/PS and the state Ministry of Education,” he said.

At Badagry Grammar School, the Principal, Mr Ibikunle Olusegun told the Committee that the total population of the students is 767 and that 300 students were writing WASSCE out of 307 students in the class.

“We have 13 classrooms and 35 teachers. We have an average of 28 to 30 students in a class.

“We want more teachers, and we need more mathematics teachers. We repair furniture regularly though the government do give us some.

“We create a lot of awareness amongst the students on COVID-19, we have sanitizers and about 16 wash hand basins in the school,” he said.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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