Mon. Sep 26th, 2022

Maureen Okpe

Owing to the deplorable conditions of public primary schools in the Federal Capita Territory FCT, HipCity Innovation Center a Non Governmental Organisation(NGO) committed to the strive for good governance has advocated for the rehabilitation and renovation, to restore lost values.

The Executive Director Bassey Bassey, speaking at a press conference held on Tuesday, advanced issues of unfit classrooms,blown off roofs, sagging walls in public schools of the nations capital.

The call for better management of public primary schools in the FCT, came after
a research carried out in the five area councils by the Center’s Community Vanguard, exposing the deplorable state of primary schools in communities of the Original Inhabitants.

Bassey stated that, in Nigeria according to the Universal Basic Education Act (4) govemment is tasked with providing free and inclusive education for all Nigerians, how ever the extent to which this mandate is carried out leaves much to be desired, he however call on the government to provide finance to tackle the issue.

He said “While we are aware, that the Education secretariat is planning to roll-out a project called “Renovate 100 schools in 100 days”, it remains an idea until the implementation begins, therefore, we call on the FCT Minister/FCT government to speedily appropriate budget allocations for the takeoff of the initiative.

“Most schools visited are grossly unequipped, lack desks and other furniture, broken bits of these furniture can even be seen littering the classrooms, thereby constituting hazard to pupils and teachers alike.

“None of the schools have functional toilet facilities, they do not have a functional borehole or pump for water supply. As well as a equipped and functional playground for pupils.

“All the schools sampled, have some part of the school building roofs blown off or destroyed, rendering some of their classrooms unfit for use, despite the fact that said classrooms are in some cases, already insufficient for the number of pupils in the school.

“Also, many of the school buildings are ramshackled with sagging walls capable of crumbling any day. In fact, every single school reported is in dire need of renovation,” he stressed.

The Executive Director expressed worry that the primary school foundation
which all other levels of education rest and sets the pace for how well children will do academically as they go higher is being treated with laxity.

He lamented that, the children of the original inhabitants of the FCT deserve better than the government is presently providing, considering all the sacrifices, their parents and progenitors have made for the collective good of Nigerians.

“The right to quality basic education is a right that cannot be overlooked or treated with levity. The original inhabitants of the FCT need to be educationally empowered for the sake of equity and to level the divide so they too can begin to take their place in leadership, economic, social and political spheres.

“You may recall, that in July 2022, the FCTA ordered the closure of all public schools in Abuja owing to threats of insecurity, coming after an already extensive stay-at home that was occasioned by CoviD-19. All of these are further impeding on the learning and learning outcomes for original inhabitants’ children. Schools have resumed, but what has changed?

“The children have lost so much learning time already and cannot afford to waste more time, as such we must stop gambling with the future of these young Nigerians.

“We charge the responsible state actors to speedily renovate and equip these schools with adequate number of classroom desks and other furniture; provide modern toilet facilities, improved water sources such as boreholes and pumps, fans and electricity to power them, as well as, fully equipped playgrounds in all schools regardless of how remote the community is.

“Without education, human potential is stifled and their ability to understand interpret and impact their world is greatly diminished. Not only does education result in a sense of self-awareness, it’s the tool that empowers people to explore innate potential, build capacity and confidence to effect change in their environment.

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