Academic activities for secondary school students around the country usually begin in the morning, but this is not so for students of Government Junior Secondary School (GJSS), Gelengu, Gombe State.
They go to farms in the morning and resume school activities in the afternoon, and this is because they have to share a building with another school since theirs is lacking in the standards expected of a conducive learning environment.
GJSS is located in Gelengu, Balanga Local Government Area of Gombe State and was established in March 2013 through a Universal Basic Education Commission and State Universal Basic Education Board project.
The students sit on stones, and place their books on the floor to write.
Leaking roofs, lack of chairs and tables, cracked walls, among others, are some of what characterise GJSS, Gelengu.
According to the principal of the school, Mr M. Philemon, since the school was constructed, chairs, tables and other learning facilities had never been supplied.
Philemon stated that the school building is bad, so students had to share the primary school.
He said: “As of now, we share sessions with our primary school and have to come in the afternoon because we don’t have enough classes. We wait for the primary school to finish their classes for the day before resuming in the afternoon.
“Our classes are not in good condition and besides, we need another block of classrooms.”
Speaking on the impact of this method on the students, the principal said that students are always tired when they commence classes in the afternoon and end up not assimilating much.
“We know the disadvantages of having lectures in the afternoon," he said.
"Parents make students go to farms in the morning, and that makes them weak when they resume in the afternoon. As a result, they don’t pay attention to what they are being taught."
Similarly, one of the teachers of the school, Mr Haruna Bili, said the school has a “tremendous problem” that needs immediate intervention.
He said: “The school has a tremendous problem because, since establishment, we have had a block of three classrooms, which cannot not contain our students. The students are congested. Each class has at least 80 students and teachers cannot assess those students.
“We also lack classroom facilities, and the ones we are sharing cannot contain us.”
Haruna, who teaches Mathematics, noted that the primary school building is only manageable.
He lamented that the government had failed to act despite being informed of the school’s condition.
Now, the school is requesting another block of classrooms in order to improve the standard of learning in the school.
“The school has informed the government and SUBEB, and we are really in need of help because we want to operate in the normal session and make things go the right way," he said. “We are urging the government to at least renovate the one we have now and re-establish another block of classrooms.”