For students in riverside Moba community, Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State, getting secondary education is a task filled with stress and risks as they have to daily cross a connecting river to neighbouring communities. YEJIDE GBENGA-OGUNDARE reports that the community is tired and has decided to change its situation by itself.
In today’s world, every child has a right to learn, yet, a huge number of children are still out of school while for many, going to school does not lead to learning for a number of reasons which include location.
A research report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) revealed that location keeps many children from school while more children from rural areas drop out of school because the distance they have to travel to get an education is far.
However, many students in urban areas also suffer this fate. This is the current situation for students in Moba, a riverside community in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State. The community has no secondary school and children from there have to go to other communities daily to acquire secondary education.
This is a major challenge in the community as the distance affects the learning abilities of the children and exposes them to different risks daily as they cross a connecting river to neighboring communities.
Many children have stopped schooling because the situation has killed the fervor for education while those that are still passionate are not able to give their best because of the toll the stress of travelling to other communities have on them.
Tired of this situation and the plight of their children, the community decided to build a secondary school by itself through communal efforts. Moba recently held a foundation-laying ceremony of the first secondary school in its domain to commemorate the beginning of the project and the community’s commitment to solving its education challenge.
Speaking during the foundation-laying ceremony, the traditional head of Moba community, High Chief Aliu Adisa Moradis, Akeran Onimoba, stated that he is not happy with the situation as the community deserves to have a school, adding that the right to education of the children is being eroded by their inability to learn within their community.
“Pupils in my community are going to neighbouring communities for their secondary education owing to the fact that there is no secondary school in our community. This affects the level of concentration of our children in many ways because of the distance and risks associated with crossing a river every day to the neighboring communities just to attend school,” he said.
He consequently appealed to the state government led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu to help in completing the school project and ensuring the community gets a secondary school in order to make it easy for children in the community to acquire education.
“I call on the state government and I appeal to our able governor, Babajide Sanwo-olu, to help build a secondary school in this community. We are begging the state government to assist us in building the school which we have started by ourselves,” he said during the foundation-laying ceremony.
For the people of Moba community, the dream of a first secondary school is still far from being actualised and this may be the situation for a long time if there is no intervention from government and other well-meaning Nigerians.
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