On the surface, the Lagos State Government from the days of former Governor Babatunde Fashola has uplifted the education sector in the state with the construction of state-of-the-art school buildings, but the reverse is the case in reality as several public schools are still in the state of dereliction.
Apart from the edifices, which are begging for government attention, there are also fears of an epidemic in most public schools in Lagos State as several of them still use pit toilets for defecation.
One of such schools in the state is the Muslim College Oworonshoki; Junior and Senior secondary schools, which are the only public secondary schools in the area.
The school, which was established in 1980 by former Governor of the State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande has seen little changes since it was established.
Most of the buildings, which are collapsing at a very high speed are still structures built in 1980 by the erstwhile governor.
Some of the classrooms have no ceiling roofs while a few other classes have no chairs and tables for students.
An investigation by Sahara Reporters also revealed that most of the junior classes, which used to occupy between 35 and 40 students about a decade ago now has over 150 students in them with some of them staying outside the classrooms to receive lectures.
Also, the school with over 3,000 students has only four pit toilets, which is giving parents concern that there might be an outbreak of epidemics, not just in the school, but in the community as a whole.
However, further investigations by our correspondent revealed that some concerned community members in the state had written several Save Our Soul (SOS) letters to the state government in the past without result.
One of such letters in possession of our correspondent, dated 20th July, 2017 with the head, ‘Continuous Reminder on Save our Soul as Students Lack School Buildings with Inadequate Classrooms and Laboratories in Muslim College Secondary School, Oworonshoki, Kosefe Local Government,’ lamented that the students have been studying under poor condition over the years.
The letter was signed by the General Secretary, Council of Oworonshoki Youth Forum, Hon. Kabiawu Babajide and sent to Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.
The letter, which was made available to our correspondent by a source in the Government House, lamented that for over 35 years, the population of the Oworonshoki community had grown drastically, but without growth in the amenities provided by the government within the same period of years.
The letter decried that at least 120 students are now in a classroom to receive lessons, a far cry from the facility, which was provided for between 35 and 40 students over 35 years ago and wanted the state government to act fast to prevent illness among the students.
The letter reads in part: “In reference to our letters written to Lagos State government, which was acknowledged on 13th of October 2016 and on 18th of August 2014, we wish to remind His Excellency and the Commissioner for Education of an imminent catastrophe at Muslim College, Oworonsoki, Kosofe Local Government, Lagos.
“Time without numbers, we have made recommendations or advised Lagos State Government to construct more school buildings with adequate classrooms and laboratories for students in Muslim College. As the population in the Oworonsoki Community continues to explode, the population of students in this antiquated school buildings can no longer accommodate the population of students in each classroom."
“The total number of students in each classroom is over 180 students with no chairs and tables, which is unprecedented while the present atmospheric condition is unhygienic. If nothing is done quickly to upgrade this school, this could lead to an unwanted pandemic soon."
“The Ministry of Education claimed that a huge amount of money has been spent on gentrification or renovating these school buildings, while 10 teachers’ tables and chairs were also supplied to Muslim College, what a pity or calamity.”
However, in its terse response to one of the numerous letters written by the forum, the Lagos State in a letter dated 25th July 2017 and signed on behalf of the Chief of Staff by Kola Aileru, said that the complaints had received the attention of the state government.
The letter with the reference number LGS.323/S.10/VOL.IV/475 said that Ambode had directed the deputy governor of the state to act. But, at the time of filing this report, the state government was yet to act on any of the letters as most classrooms are still without chairs and tables while the toilet facilities are yet to receive a facelift.