ONE of the responsibilities of governments is the provision of quality education for its citizens which will equip them with needed skills to become productive members of the society.
Education is important in the development of children and a complete human being; more reason parents and government must strive to make adequate provision for affordable quality and functional education.
One of the areas of ensuring quality education is the provision of facilities, most especially buildings and access roads to school.
However, some students in Osun are finding it risky and difficult to access their schools, a challenge that needs to be addressed by the state government.
Some students of Ilobu Secondary Commercial Grammar School, Ansar-Ud-Deen Grammar School and AUD Primary School in Ilobu, headquarters of Irepodun local government daily risk their lives to go to school and return to their various home every school day.
The students had been moving freely from their houses to their schools to access education until recently when the bridges linking their schools with the community caved in.
The two connecting bridges to the schools have collapsed and needed urgent attention in order to avert an imminent disaster in the town.
OSUN DEFENDER visited the two collapsed bridges on Wednesday and the sight was an eyesore.
Students Crawl To Access School
During the visit, some students of Ilobu Secondary Commercial Grammar School were seen crawling through debris on their way home after school hours.
The medium also learnt that students who had to pass through the collapsed bridges were always trapped in their school premises whenever it rains, as they have to allow the water level to go down before passing the place.
According to some teachers, parents have been withdrawing their children from the schools on the ground that the situation posed threats to their safety.
One of the teachers said: “Some parents have already withdrawn their children from the school because of the collapsed bridge. You know we are dealing with children and it is risky for them.
“We teachers are not finding it easy too but we don’t have a choice. We have to perform our responsibility. I hope the government will do something about the situation in no distant time.”
Speaking on the two connecting bridges, the President of Ilobu-Asake Department Union, Pastor Olufemi Salako, urged Governor Ademola Adeleke, as well as the office of the Ecological Fund to come to the aid of the community.
Salako said thousands of residents have been cut off as a result of the collapsed bridges.
He said: “With the bridge linking adjoining communities to Ilobu Grammar School and others in the town caved-in, it is difficult for students and teachers to access the school unless they walk through the river and debris.
“We cried over a then collapsing, and now collapsed Laaro Bridge during our celebration last year. Unfortunately, no action has been taken despite our efforts. As we speak, tens of thousands of our people have been cut off, following the collapse of the bridge.
“Another challenge is that students of Ilobu Secondary Commercial Grammar School, Ansar-Ud-Deen Grammar School and AUD Primary School now crawl over debris and wade through flowing rivers daily to assess their school buildings as both the connecting bridges have now also collapsed.
“This makes learning not only difficult but ordinary commuting to school treacherous for these young students and their teachers.”
Speaking with OSUN DEFENDER, the Senior Prefect of the Ilobu Secondary Commercial Grammar School, Habeebulah Olaniyan, said the situation was worrisome and created fear amongst the students especially when it rains.
According to him, some parents have withdrawn their children from the school due to the situation, appealing to the state government to assist them urgently.
“Since the bridge collapsed, we have been having difficulty in accessing our school building. We always crawl through debris when going and coming from school.
“It gets more difficult during the rainy period as we have to stay in school and allow the flowing water to subside before we go home.
“I want to appeal to the state government on behalf of the entire students of the school to come to our aid. We need urgent attention on our collapsed bridges.”
A resident of the community, Ademola Agboola, while speaking with the medium said the collapsed bridges have cut them off from the town.
Agboola noted that the first bridge collapsed last year while the other one caved in this year, leaving the residents disconnected.
He stated: “If you come here when it’s raining, you will pity us. We are suffering in this area due to the collapse bridges and our appeal to the government has fallen on deaf ears.
“We have been disconnected from the other communities and those of us using car can no longer bring it home. We have to park our cars on the main road and trek to our houses.
“I want to use this medium to appeal to the state government again. Our listening governor should come to our aid. The students and residents of this area need help.”
Kazeem Badmus is a graduate of Mass Communication with years of experience. A professional in journalism and media writing, Kazeem prioritses accuracy and factual reportage of issues. He is also a dexterous finder of the truth with conscious delivery of unbiased and development oriented stories.