The Lagos State Government is jeopardising the likeliness of a brighter future by not giving these students the best learning environment which will aid good performance.
In a situation where students are not comfortable in the process of learning, there will be poor assimilation and performance in examinations, even in productivity after graduation. It will also make teachers find it very difficult to give adequate attention to individual students, the marking of their scripts, among other tasks. This was a research made by an expert. And in reality this is the condition of public schools in Lagos.
It is no gain saying that Lagos State has failed to meet the needs of public schools in the state. There are cases of inadequacies in the learning environment, as a result of overcrowding, poor infrastructure, scarce learning materials and insufficient availability of schools to meet the demand of growing population in some areas in the state. Public education in Lagos State is as relatively underfunded as elsewhere in Nigeria as only 12.07 percent of its 2018 budget was allocated to education though it was later increased to 17% under the Akinwunmi Ambode administration in 2019.
In the absence of public schools in many areas in Lagos State and with the high student attendance levels, the establishment of private schools has skyrocketed. Many poor parents who cannot afford sending their children to private schools has done so because of the implication that arises from sending their wards to an overpopulated and underfunded schools where they learn nothing. A case study is the Local Government Primary School, Igando, Alimoso Local Government, one of the most populous areas in the country. The school was founded in 1953 and it remains the only public primary school around the Oba Axis in Igando which is far away from some other people in different areas who are not close to the location of the school.
Recently, I watched a video of Olorunfemi School at Idimu which has been a greatest prompt for me in writing this piece. The small classroom in the school houses hundreds of student some sitting on the table, some on the window and some standing with their notes in their hand. I don’t know how these students will learn in a disturbed and tampered environment as this. Aside for the uneasiness in learning, health wise, the children are also prone to different contagious diseases as a result of the congested environment. My heart pours for the future of these students. The Lagos State Government is jeopardising the likeliness of a brighter future by not giving these students the best learning environment which will aid good performance.
Regrettably, majority of Lagos public schools lacks essential amenities like water, electricity and toilet facilities and so there is urgent need for the state government to provide these schools with necessary amenities, ensure their safety by giving them a secured and safety environment for learning which originally is the sole responsibility of the government as specified in Chapter II, Fundamental Objective and Directive Principles of State Policy, section 14 (2)(b) which states that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of the government”. And I do not see anyone to hold accountable for the lack of essential amenities in Lagos schools if not the government.
Moreover, the Lagos State Government has failed the people of Lagos State in failing to provide them with the basic education needed. I do not see any reason why the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, should be surprised to see two young girls who are supposed to be in school wandering the street in a viral video. This is something he should have taken care of. Aside from the fact that the parents of these young girls may not have the financial capability to send them to school; the failed educational system which is postulated by overcrowding, poor infrastructure, and lack of proximity to schools might have imprinted the bad notion of “school na scam” in them.
To this end, the Lagos State public school sector needs revolution and the governor should be responsible to lift the flag by implanting immeasurable improvement in the quality of physical infrastructures and facilities in the system at all levels of education in the state with the provision of classrooms, furniture, laboratories, provision of water and other required amenities needed by schools.
Samuel Olomu is a member of Take It Back Movement, Lagos State Chapter