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Save public primary schools from infrastructural decay, Stakeholders tell Oyo govt



Save public primary schools from infrastructural decay, Stakeholders tell Oyo govt

Stakeholders in the education sector have called on Oyo State Government to take urgent steps to save public primary schools across the state from infrastructural decay and its dire consequences.

Parents, teachers and other stakeholders made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Sunday.

A survey by NAN revealed that most of the public primary schools in the state undergo their teaching and learning activities under dilapidated structures.

The schools are largely without perimeter fences, thus making them hideouts for miscreants in their respective neighbourhoods and easy routes for passers-by.

Most of the schools visited also have their members of staff in ramshackle administrative offices.

A parent, Mrs Faridat Adekunle, who resides close to one of the schools visited, urged the state government not to assume that pupils were totally safe in state primary schools.

She noted that after school hours, hoodlums would come around to make use of the school as their hideouts.

“Hoodlums are always in the school premises after school hours to smoke Indian hemp and take alcoholic drinks.

“Aside the provision of modern learning facilities, the school also needs a perimeter fence to ensure safety of the pupils and ward off external attacks,” she said.

Also, a teacher, who chose to be anonymous, said that this particular school lacked good and functional sanitary facilities; hence, the ‘bush’ serving that purpose for the pupils.

“Due to bad sanitary facilities, some pupils go to their nearby houses to use toilets, while those from faraway places use the bush,” said the teacher.

Similarly, a community leader at Olunde area of Ibadan, Mr Adegbola Farinto, said that lack of good fence and security guards had made it easy for thieves to repeatedly vandalise school property.

Farinto urged landlords and other community associations hosting public schools to join hands with the state government to ensure safety of school property.

The story is similar at St. David’s Anglican School, Abidiodan in Lagelu Local Government Area, as NAN observed patched cemented floors of dilapidated classrooms.

The effect of long years of neglect of the school was evident, as the roofs of most of the classroom blocks had been blown by wind, with ceilings already crumbling.

“Merely looking around, you already have the idea of how things are here.

“Take a look at the classrooms and you will see that we need help in terms of state-of-the-art infrastructure that will facilitate teaching and learning,” said an anonymous staff member of the school.

The Headmistress of Methodist Primary School II, Aresa, Oke-Ado, Mrs Bukola Olasupo, said her school was once a domain for nefarious activities.

“Over there are buildings that are dilapidated and abandoned. However, things are looking better now because some old students rose to the occasion to refurbish the school.

“We now have toilets, courtesy of the old students,” she said.

Olasupo said that Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) had done well by providing three blocks of classrooms, which, she explained, was refurbished by old students.

She said that SUBEB had promised to build additional three blocks of classrooms, waiting to be delivered by the contractor.

“I have been calling the contractor to know when he will start the project. But after many calls, he said until he gets paid by the government, work will not start,” she said.

Olasupo noted that the poor infrastructure had affected pupils’ enrolment in the past, as only 13 were enrolled.

“But since the intervention by the old students by giving the school a facelift, enrolment has increased to 40 pupils,” she said.

At St. Stephen’s Primary School, Salvation Army, Ibadan, the classes get flooded each time it rained as a result of old and weak structures.

“Take a look at the ceilings; they are broken and could collapse at any time.

“We usually have it rough during the rainy season as the showers directly fall on us and the pupils.

“The whole building needs to be overhauled and improved upon. We are just managing for teaching and learning activities to take place,” said an anonymous teacher.

The Headmaster of Community Primary School, Atiba, Oyo town, Mr Kunle Adedeji, said that his school only had buildings as its only infrastructure.

Adedeji, who is also the State Chairman, Association of Primary School Head Teachers of Nigeria (AOPSHON), said that the school lacked apparatus and teaching aids.

“Teachers provide themselves with all the teaching materials they need, unlike before when government used to provide chalks, whiteboards, markers, long rulers, dusters and other items for the teachers.

“We lack all these items now, leaving us to improvise,” Adedeji said.

Meanwhile, the State Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Mr Raji Oladimeji, said that the situation was not as bad as claimed.

According to him, the state government is partnering with the Federal Government, through SUBEB, to provide infrastructure at many of the schools.

“The situation is not as bad as people think because we have lots of interventions like the ones from SUBEB, through the UBEC project; the World Bank and BESDA also have their projects.

“Each of these organisations has its mandate, which, on an annual basis, put in place befitting structures in each of the states and which they are doing.

“On an annual basis, they construct buildings, classrooms, toilets and other necessary things. But that cannot go around all the schools because we have over 6,000 primary schools across the state.

“You cannot do a project that will cover a whole lot of schools; it is a gradual process that will eventually go round as schools take turns,” Oladimeji said.

He said that the state government had been doing its best in terms of providing interventions and other instructional books and materials.

“These organisations have been complementing the efforts of the government,” he said.

Meanwhile, a senior officer in SUBEB, Mr Raimi Ayodeji, claimed that many of the structures had been renovated, in addition to providing desks and chairs.

He said it would soon be the turn of schools yet to be renovated, assuring that all public primary schools in the state would be fenced.


AAU dismisses report on sales of admission to candidates



The Management of Ambrose Alli University, (AAU) Ekpoma, says it does not sell admission to candidates as being peddled in the social media.

Head, Corporate Communications and Protocols, Otunba Mike Aladenika, made the statement while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) on Saturday in Benin.

Aladenika described as baseless, a report that the university was engaged in the sales of admission to the highest bidders.

He described the report of the alleged admission racketeering “as a new generation-falsehood which should be dismissed and trashed in its entirety.

“The uninvestigated and completely misguided and vengeful story could better be described as a poor job done for certain elements who are out for some mischief and image damage.

“It is a fact that provisional admissions were granted to students into our various departments and faculties as required by enabling laws guiding admission processes in the university.

“It is also a fact that upon this provisional admission, acceptance comes with specific payments after which you are expected to follow through with other requirements.”

“Such requirements would enable you to register and become a bonafide student of the university.

“The process of admission is digital and seamless. Those who follow through with the process online, have no issue as we speak. “

According to him, the process of admission begins with the acceptance of the provisional admission which needs to be completed on schedule, to allow for the university’s calender to be completely implemented.

“Some of these candidates, after accepting the provisional admission, failed to complete the process until the quota was filled.

“Nevertheless, the university, in its wisdom, had to reassign such candidates to other departments and faculties mostly their second choice.

“To meet up with the deadline for registration process, the university issued a reminder to students who had made acceptance that their process must be completed on or before the Aug. 14 2023, to guarantee studentship eligibility.

“To the best of my knowledge, the affected candidates are just about 20 in number for each of the courses in question, Law and Medical Laboratory Sciences(MLS).

“The number admitted into MLS is 88 in the desire of the university to meet admission quota, while that of law is 135.

“Who then is buying these admissions? And why must a small number of candidates who failed to meet admission timelines through their own faults and therefore missed the opportunity now hold the university to ransom?”

Aladenika noted that ” the entire admission process, as driven by the acting vice chancellor, was electronically facilitated, devoid of marginal human errors.

“There is nobody given admission without meeting up with the expected academic requirements.

“Absolute merit was considered (you can come and verify that), not patronage.

“He who alleges must prove. Our hands are clean. Our actions are responsible to the effect of its discharge,” he said.

He explained that students who followed through with the process had almost concluded their registration.

“I will advise that if the candidates concerned are still interested in their studentship of the university, they should embrace their new departments and do the needful before the entire system is closed,” he said.

Aladenika advised journalists to always do due diligence in their reportage of events and issues by fact checking their stories.

“The lazy line of some journalists that ‘all efforts to get other views proved abortive’ as was in this reportage, is no longer acceptable in today’s serious journalism.

“The university is open for fact checking of the process by any journalist who cares to.

” There is nothing to hide here. We are running an open administration and using our valuable time and energy to grow our university,” Aladenika said.

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Avoid night parties, YABATECH advises new students



The management of Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) has advised new students to stay away from night parties after their matriculation.

Mr Joe Ejiofor, the Head of Public Relations of YABATECH, gave the counsel in a statement on Thursday in Lagos.

Ejiofor said such gatherings could expose the newly admitted students to unpredictable situations that might lead to danger.

The Public Relations Officer noted that the safety and academic progress of the general students were top priorities of the management of the College.

“As part of the management’s commitment to your well-being and success, I would like to bring to your attention an important matter regarding late-night matriculation parties.

“While it is understandable that campus life provides numerous opportunities for socialising and building connections, we must remind you of the potential dangers associated with attending parties at odd hours.

“You are, therefore, warned in your interest to stay away from any night parties planned after matriculation,” he added.

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