- Four Teachers Take All Subjects For About 500 Students
By Ismaeel Uthman &Yusuf Oketola
IT will sound unbelievable to readers and members of the general public that in the State of Osun, where success had been made in education infrastructure, there can still be some schools whose conditions do not justify the huge investment in the education sector.
Some of the schools in remote areas of the state are lacking classrooms, teachers, water and toilets, according to investigation.
While successive governments of the state have been giving priority to education sector in the state, some schools are totally forgotten, apparently because of their location.
One of the schools that is currently begging for government’s attention is Community Grammar School, Ikonifin, a town in Ola-Oluwa Local Government of the state.
Constructed in 1979 by Chief Bola Ige in the old Oyo State, the school served as a former education centre for 10 communities in the area. The communities are: Obamoro, Odoran, Isero, Sade, Gogooru, Gaa-Seidu, Gaa-Adamu, Gaa-Baabo, Olaala and Ikonifin town itself.
The school buildings, which are about five in number are dilapidated, except one which was built by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s administration. All the others buildings are now threat to safety of the school children and teachers.
OSUN DEFENDER visited the school on Monday and noted that the new school building constructed by the Aregbesola administration is the only structure being used to house and teach students from JSS 1-SS3. The building has just four classrooms, two offices for teachers and Principal, and two toilets.
The number of students in the school could not be verified but a teacher who prayed anonymity, said the student population was about 500 with just four teachers and a principal. The school does not have teacher for any science subject as at the time of filing this report, according to the teacher.
To accommodate members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) posted to the school, the Chief Bisi Akande administration built a ‘Corpers Lodge’ very close to the school. The corpers lodge which is just an apartment is now a shadow of its former self.
According to an old student of the school, Hon. Kayode Omoniyi, since 1979, the only administration that ‘remembered’ the school was that of Aregbesola, which erected a new building to be used by the students and teachers.
Omoniyi said: “We are facing infrastructure challenge in this town. Part of it is the bad condition of our school. The school and the Corpers lodge are the main projects executed by successive governments in Osun. Chief Bola Ige was the one who established the school in 1979 in which I was part of the first set, while the Corpers lodge and a borehole was built by Chief Bisi Akande.
“Due to lack of maintenance, the Corpers lodge and the classrooms have dilapidated. The only building the whole students are using is the one built during the time of Aregbesola.
“Go to the principal’s office, it is nothing to write home about. When the corpers lodge was still in a good shape, at least, we do see up to 12 Corpers coming to serve in the school because they were aware that they will get a good accommodation. But now, no corps member is coming here to serve anymore.
“Our road was constructed by the administration of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and was later rehabilitated during the time of Aregbesola.
“The only thing that the current Governor Adegboyega Oyetola administration has done is the renovation of the Health Centre here. There is nothing other than that.
“There is no administration in the state that could say it did not receive support of this town as APC has been winning this ward since 2011.
Also, speaking with OSUN DEFENDER, the President, National Association Of Ola-Oluwa Students, Comrade Idowu Olatidoye, said that most schools in Ola-Oluwa Local Government have no chairs and good buildings.
Olatidoye said: “I have gathered enough fact that Ola-Oluwa has always been sidelined in developmental projects, and that is evident in our education system.
“There is no enough school buildings and the available ones are very disgusting. Our learning environment in the local government is not conducive. Corps members are no longer being posted to schools which had always been receiving corps members for years. Obviously, the environment is not conducive for them to stay.”
Some of the old students of the Ikonifin Community Grammar School who accompanied OSUN DEFENDER to the school during the visitation also lamented its poor state, recalling that the school was still in a good shape some years back.
OSUN DEFENDER also learnt that the Community Grammar School in Ajagunlase, the hometown of the lawmaker representing Ola-Oluwa Constituency in the State Assembly, Hon. Adirullahi Abefe, shares similar fate with that of Ikonifin Community Grammar School.
Some of the school buildings are dilapidated, while some classrooms are without window.
OSUN DEFENDER observed that palm-front was used to ceil the roof of the school hall in which there was no chair, forcing students to sit on bear floor and hang on the window.
Besides the hall, there is no enough chairs in each of the five classrooms in the school.
According to a teacher in the school, four students share a chair which is meant for just two persons. The population of students in the school was said to be over 300.
According to investigation, four teacher and a principal were originally in the school. One of the teachers was redeployed to another school recently, making the total number of teachers to be three with a principal. Th available teachers in the school teaches English Language, Yoruba and Geography, while the principal takes artwork for JSS1-JSS 3 students.
One of the teachers of the school said: “We have four classrooms; the other one the students were occupying was built during the time of Chief Bola Ige. The roof of the building was done by the former principal but it is now blown off. Now, JSS 1 and II are using one class, while teachers are teaching JSS 1 students, JSS 2 students will be there sitting down. While JSS II students are being taught, JSS I students will be asked to put their heads on the knocker. So, we are swapping classes for them. JSS 3 are maintaining a class because of their promotion exams, and SSS students are making use of one because of the final exams. SSS I and II students share a class together.
“We have five teachers, a Vice-Principal and a Principal. We don’t have corps member anymore because of the condition of the Corpers lodge. We don’t have a standard science; Mathematics and English teachers. All of us are just making up.
“Students are now withdrawing from the school to go to Ife-Odan. The students have to trek from Ikonifin to Ife-Odan everyday because the Community Grammar School is nothing to write home about again. We are fed up. Ikonifin was a standard school some years back.