Our SOS4 campaign took us to Unity School Agbarho, Delta State, on Tuesday, February 12.
As we visit different schools, I’ve been making some observations.
1. There is a lot of infrastructural decay.
Many of our public schools have dilapidated buildings. Several of these buildings were built several years ago. The quality of work done by the contractors then were very poor. Now an innocent generation is suffering from the consequences of their actions.
This will remain a recurring decimal in Nigeria. If you check the buildings built by the colonial masters and the founding fathers of Nigeria, you will notice that they are much more enduring than those built immediately after the civil war.
2. There is an urgent need for more secondary schools to be built because the population of the students far outstrip the classrooms and hostels.
3. A lot the students come late to school and they are very shabbily dressed. A lot of the male students don’t tuck in or button their shirts; they look like street boys. I wonder if their parents see them before they leave home for school.
Lateness is like a culture in many of our secondary schools. You see students strolling to school as if they are going to a drinking joint.
From the look of things, it will extend to several other spheres of our social services, from hospitals to stadiums and airports.
This is not just restricted to a particular state.
4. There are not enough teachers for the large population of students.
The student teacher ratio is too high, just like the patient doctor ratio.
5. You do not see the enthusiasm to learn in their faces. There is a look of despondency and hopelessness in their faces when you start speaking to them. It takes great public address skills to arrest their attention.
We must, as a matter of urgency, tackle this decay of the education sector. If you destroy the education sector of a nation, you have destroyed that nation without shooting a bullet; it will affect every segment of the society.
Paul Kagame of Rwanda has transformed public schools. Parents and guardians now withdraw their children and wards to public schools.
Old student associations and NGOs must get involved in the revival of the education sector. There must be training and retraining of our teachers with improved conditions of service and retirement benefits. Teachers are the refiners of the raw materials to build a nation and the schools are the refineries.
You can be partners in this great endeavour alongside Salimo Wits Foundation. You can call us on +2348028258702 or send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for more inquiries on partnering in the SOS4 Program.
God Bless You.