Save Lagos Group Laments Gross Infrastructural Decay In Lagos Primary Schools
*Petitions Ambode, seeks quick action on schools rehabilitation, halt to propaganda
A civil rights organization, the Save Lagos Group has lamented the state of schools’ infrastructure in Lagos State, saying the Akinwunmi Ambode led government has perpetuated gross underfunding of education sector.
The Convener of the group, Comrade Adeniyi A. Sulaiman has lamented that the state government has refused to positively react to series of petitions the group has sent to it on the need to rehabilitate public schools in the state.
In a statement issued on Monday, Sulaiman on behalf of the group lamented that after series of meetings with officials of the state government on the dilapidated state of some schools in the state, the government has not deemed it fit to do anything tangible to remedy the situation.
Sulaiman said that pupils in the various government owned primary schools across the state are learning under a very severe condition thus making process of schooling very difficult for them.
The group listed the United African Methodist Church (UAMC) Eleja Primary School and Salvation Primary School both along Igbogbo-Bayeku Road, Igbogbo, Ikorodu, Alaworo St. Michael Primary School (I&2) in Ojo town as some few examples where such is taking place.
On the state of the schools, Sulaiman stated that the case of the United African Methodist Church (UAMC) Eleja Primary School is even very pathetic as the school lacks basic infrastructure such as toilet, perimeter fencing, water, furnishing for both pupils and teachers.
“I wept when I visited United African Methodist Church (UAMC) Eleja Primary School. I saw pupils sitting on bare floor as they lacked basic furnishing. There were no toilet facilities as the teachers and pupils usually answer nature’s call in the adjourning bushes. There is no form of electricity also just as the staff also lacks stationary to work with.” He said.
On what the group had done in the past, Sulaiman said the group on 2ndof April, 2015 he wrote to both the governor and the commissioner for education, with response coming through the Ministry of The Environment in a letter dated 29th of April 2015.
“We got a phone call from an official in the Ministry of Education on Monday 13th of April, 2015 from one Mr. Kazeem who was then using Room 103 in the Ministry of Education at the Alausa Secretariat. Our team met with Mr. Olaniyonu alongside Mr. Kazeem. On Tuesday 14th, April 2015, we were promised that a report would be forwarded to the commissioner for education. They even promised to effect the necessary changes before the end of that term. “He said.
Lamenting, he said, “Up till now, nothing has been done as promised by the state government. It is sad that the current government doesn’t pay the right attention to the plights of the common man simply because their children don’t attend public schools.”
Sulaiman added that the current Chairman of Igbogbo-Bayeku Local Council Development Area, Mr. Olusesan Daini has not done enough to help the helpless pupils considering his antecedence as a unionist who at a time was the Speaker of University of Lagos students’ parliament in the 1990s.
He stated that members of the Save Lagos Group have exhausted their patience owing to the fact that the state government has been foot dragging on the issue to the detriment of the helpless pupils of the school.
“We have resolved to give them till the end of the current third term for the state government fix the schools, failure in which we will not hesitate to carry all the pupils to Alausa for a week with a view to draw the right attention of government to their plights.” He said.
He stated that the 1999 Constitution (as amended) has given governments at all tiers the responsibilities to provide compulsory and quality education to the Nigerian citizens, adding that (Section 18) of the constitution stated.
“Late legal icon, Chief Gani Fawehinmi in his book, Peoples Right to Free Education (at all levels) has eloquently stated that compulsory and quality education is a right and not a privilege of both the Nigerian and Lagos child. We urge the state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and his commissioner for education to stop all propaganda regarding a rosy state of the education sector until all these schools are rehabilitated.
“We are currently monitoring developments as they relate to the schools until all the issues of infrastructural deficits are address.” He concluded.