By Amos Igbebe
Not less than 727 students of Alisimie Mixed Secondary School in the suburb of Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State are learning in unfriendly environment even as the Principal of the school, Mr. Frank Aziken, has converted the cashew tree in the school premises to his temporary office.
When 247ureports.com, on a fact finding mission, visited the school on Wednesday, it was learnt that many of the students had stopped coming to school following the unavailability of seats, just as many of the students were seen struggling with the available ones while others supported their seats with moulded blocks and planks.
The 247ureports.com correspondent, who was taken round the school premises, reports that effective learning may not take place in the school due to the unhygienic nature of the classrooms where the students struggle in the dusty and dirty classrooms and concentrate for effective learning.
The Principal, it was learnt, moves his office to under the cashew tree to cushion the effect of the sun during the dry season while during the raining season, he battles for space with his teachers in the teachers’ staff room. This he does because his office has been damaged and leaking as the rains pour.
“For the period the office of the Principal is not in use during the dry season, he uses under the cashew tree as his office and during the rains, he shares office with his teachers. That’s the only way he can avoid being drenched in the rain or being scorched by the sun.
“Our teachers do not always stay in the staff room, those who have classes stay in their classes while others remain in the staff room, that is how it is swapped so that there will be space for him when the rains begin to pour. Also, once it starts raining, the laboratory equipment and library materials are moved to a safe corner to avoid the downpour”, a teacher who did not want to be named, said.
The teacher, who took 247ureports.com round the school premises and offices, revealed that most students do not come to school due to the unavailability of seats in the classrooms, even the ones coming to school have never been pleased learning in such unconducive environments.
However, it was learnt that the State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Chiedu Ebie, has sent officials from the ministry to have a preliminary observation of the school condition with the officials of the Ministry of Lands and Survey in the state.
The Principal, Mr. Frank Aziken, said that the Commissioner for Education is a forthright man, maintaining that he had sent ministry officials to the school twice to study the school environment, adding that he had promised to renovate the school to make it befitting for the students.
He said the partial renovation work being done was the handiwork of the Parents Teachers Association (PTA), saying “If they do not do it now, it will be worse than last year when the rains come. The PTA executive met and resolved that parents should donate to renovate the school.
“Though what they are doing now is a temporary measure because there is no way they can fund the full renovation of the school. This temporary work is necessary to avoid immediate calamity in the school.
The PTA Chairman, Mr. John Aigbojie, said his association moved in to carry out palliative renovation of the Principal’s office so as to save the ugly situation pending when the state government would attend to the need of the school.
According to him, “I assume office in July 2015. When I came in, I saw most things were down, students were sitting on the floor. Principal’s office damaged and began sitting under the cashew tree. But when we saw all these, we decided to do what we can and by the grace of God, we are trying to put the Principal’s office in order.
“As soon as we finish this, we will make more chairs for the students so that they can be comfortable in the class, rather than coming home and washing their clothes every day because of the dirty environment. We decided to tax ourselves and we agreed that each parent should pay N1000 so that we can get money and do the work while waiting for the government to come in”.
In a telephone chat with the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Chiedu Ebie, he said that “we are aware of the state of the school. When we begin to implement the 2016 budget, we will look into the state of the school. I know the school, I know we have furniture crisis there. As soon as our budget is out, we will work on the school and others like it”.
Delta Secondary School Where Principal Turns Cashew Tree to Office
By Amos Igbebe