By Longtong Ibrahim
Kaduna (Nigeria) — The Kaduna State government says it plans to provide trampoline to its schools that are overpopulated and have shortage of classes for pupils. This is in addition to ongoing renovations of public schools across the state.
Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Andrew Jonathan Nok made the disclosure during an interview with AFRICAPRIMENEWS in his office in Kaduna.
To this end, an arrangement has been made with a Tampoline company in Zaria to supply the product.
Nok noted that government has taken a multi trunk approach to restructuring the educational sector in the state which could be evident in its commitment of 35 percent of the state’s budget to rehabilitations of primary/secondary schools, upgrading infrastructure, teachers training/education, revitalizing science colleges and the primary school feeding.
According to him, government have penciled down 458 schools to be refurbish of which 273 are at about 50 percent completion level, while 105 are ready to be commissioned.
He said, “Total assessment of all schools has been carried out and classified based on the state of how they are been dilapidated. When you look at some of the schools, you will weep because there are no roofs and in some areas, some student uses ladder to get into their classes, while some classes have potholes on the floors.
“We have quite a number of schools like that of Ungwan maigero and Rigasa that have no classes that we are attending to, and very vigorously. Thus far, we have started commissioning some of the refurbish primary schools – one in Kawo and others in Abakpa and Badiko; toilets facilities, boreholes are fixed to ensure students have a good learning environment,” the commissioner stressed.
Meanwhile, Residents of Ungwan Maigero community, a suburb of Kaduna metropolis have decried the state of the only public primary school in their area, saying it has been without structure since it was created 16 years ago, leaving their wards exposed to environmental hazard and hash weather.
According to one of the members of the community, Samson Iliya, several efforts aimed at gaining the attention of government yielded no positive results.
He noted that, the school has been without classrooms, chairs, desks, and blackboards to write on for pupils. He said, “The pupils come to schools and manage to sit on broken blocks and stones. The blackboard they have now I know was purchased when a Good Samaritan came and donated N5, 000 to the school. When it rains now, school closes because there is no shelter over their heads. So you can see that the situation here is pathetic and unfortunate.
“The only shelter they have here are the trees they sit under during their classes. They are also exposed to dust and cold as well as the sun depending on the weather,” he stressed.
Chairman of the School Board Management Committee (SBMC), Mike Okolicho explained that the school which has both nursery and primary classes with eight teachers has made several efforts in order to attract government’s attention to raising the structures.
He said, “We have been managing and going round to see that government provide classrooms in the school but they kept on promising to come around, which we are still expecting to see them soon.
“This school has existed since the year 2000. We had a small place by the main road then, but later decided to buy a bigger land which is up to 10- plots and it was bought through community efforts.
“The government asks the community to get a place which we had gotten since, but there are no structures. We have teachers sent to us and even the school feeding program takes place here but there are no classrooms for the pupils.
“We have laid a foundation of six classrooms with teachers’ office but we cannot complete it because of financial constraint on our side. We have sent letters upon letters and reminders to the government but our hopes are not shattered because we believe the government would come to our aid,” he pointed out.