As the standard of education in the country continues to fall, the infrastructure for a conducive learning environment is falling with it.
Such is the case of Government Secondary School and Local Government Education Authority Primary School, Dan Alhaji 1, Lere Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Dan Alhaji is a remote area located three hours drive away from the center of the state’s capital.
Teachers, as well as residents of the community, lamented the deplorable state of the schools noting that the primary and secondary schools are the only available learning place in the community.
The 30-year-old school is completely abandoned by the government with the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) striving to keep the school functioning by providing some learning materials once in a blue moon.
No Chairs, No Books, Poor Learning Facilities
The case of the school is not different from every other school in Nigeria rural area. While teachers share chairs and tables, students sit on the bare floor, stones and place their notebooks on their laps to write.
A teacher of GSS Dan Alhaji 1 who spoke with SaharaReporters narrated how students had to sit on the bare floor as they do not want to miss out from what is being taught in school.
“All the classes in primary school are not in good condition. No chairs, no functional toilets. The primary school has less than 30 chairs for all the pupils to use.
“There are no chairs in the secondary school and it is so bad to the extent that the students are sitting on the window, some on the floor and there is no examination hall,” a teacher said.
Lamenting the deplorable state of the facilities, he said: “Our chalkboard is very bad and we don’t have a single library in the school. The place we use temporarily as a laboratory is bad and there is no equipment in the laboratory room. The place we call the laboratory room is totally empty.
“In the primary school has six blocks, most of the blocks are not being used because they are dilapidated.”
Mr. Dan’Asabe, Chairman of Parent Teacher Association said because of the bad condition of the school; open defecation now prevails without interruption.
Dan’Asabe stated the difficulties in checking the ugly trend: “The school is so bad to the extent that some people usually enter the classes and defecate everywhere.
“The primary school is not fenced so also the secondary school and that is why people just walk in and do whatever they like in the school.”
He said the PTA could not do anything because the cost to construct a fence and gate is very high and the people cannot afford it.
He added that the government once attempted to fence the school but abandoned it even before any significant progress was made.
“Three months ago, the state government wanted to construct a fence but we don’t know what happened they left the project after laying three blocks in few places,” he said
Left To Rot By The Government
Teachers, students as well as parents expressed their loss of hope on the government to refurbish the school.
They said since the school was established in 1989, learning materials and facilities have been lacking, with the PTA left to run the school.
A resident of Dan Alhaji LGA that spoke to SaharaReporters said: “The school is one of the first built in the area and from when it was constructed, there have not been adequate learning facilities for students.
“It is the PTA that has been buying some things in the school. Recently the PTA bought 100 chairs for the secondary school.”
A teacher who wished not to be named also highlighted some problems that make learning difficult in the school.
He said, “I attended the school throughout primary and secondary and I can tell you that we have never had enough chairs.
“The whole of the school has no toilet to the extent that teachers and students use the bush whenever they are pressed.
“Also, there is no provision for water in the school and this contributes to what makes life very hard for us in the school.”
We Deserve Better
Members of the PTA called on the government to intervene and begin the process of renovating the school. They stated that the school is the only hope of the children in the community.
“As you can see, both the schools (primary and secondary) need urgent renovation and we want the government to supply learning materials in the school.
“We are calling on Governor Nasir el-Rufai for him to know that we voted for him and we deserve better than what we are facing in Dan Alhaji 1.”