Estimated reading time: 19 minute(s)
Students in the Gbangbade, Eleruja, and Olugbo areas of Ogun State face untold hardship in accessing education.
An investigation by PLATFORM TIMES revealed that one C&S Primary School in Olugbo serves the three communities in the Obafemi Owode local government area.
Due to the lack of amenities, students in these communities are compelled to learn under a broken roof surrounded by bushes.
In the school, students, teachers, and the headmistress share only two classrooms, while others receive lessons under the tree.
Only three teachers are attending to the school with over 200 students.
The lack of space and resources has resulted in many students being forced to drop out of school, with some, opting for farming as a means of income.
The school situation got worsened by the presence of snakes in the school building and premises, posing a significant threat to the safety and well-being of the students.
Students and parents also face a tough burden of the high cost of living in this community which is very alarming.
Compared to a city, Abeokuta, which is the capital of the state, where three sachets of pure water are being sold for N50, in Olugbo, a sachet of pure water is N50.
The lack of motorable roads has made life difficult for people in these communities as goods become cost daily, making feeding uneasy for them.
While a student spends at least N1,400 daily to access education, other students trek about four miles, spending about two hours on the road as an alternative to transporting fare.
According to a source, identified as Iya Muiz, who resides in Gbangbade, the community has no school as students need to travel to neighbouring communities for classes.
Iya Muiz, who is also a farmer, further lamented that most times, during rainy seasons, students resolve to trek, because of lack of taxi, as unsightly mud and slush befoul their clothes.
“A student spends at least N1,400 on transport per day, while some students trek four miles to their school. There is no school here, the school is in Olugbo and Atoba, and students going to secondary school in this community go to Ishan.
“Now, if you want to take a cab to that place, it’s N700, then it would cost you N1,400 to and fro, which is about four miles, meanwhile, some children use their legs to trek down to school, that primary school at Atoba is three miles and cabs don’t patronize that area” she narrated.
She further explained that despite this, the communities face other challenges which involve spending more on a commodity that is supposed to be less, due to inadequate roads.
She said, “God should help us, it is not easy at all, all we are buying here is too expensive, it takes God’s grace before we can eat.
“Things have been expensive because there is no easy transportation for us in the community,” she lamented.
The government school which is supposed to be well furnished and equipped with adequate and efficient teachers had just three teachers teaching students from Primary 1 to Primary 6 in just two classrooms.
According to a resident in the community, Ibrahim Adesina, the school initially has only two government-employed teachers, before the Parent Teachers Association, PTA employed an additional teacher at a meager salary of N15,000 per month.
Adeshina expressed disappointment in the current governor, Dapo Abiodun, stating that “the tenure of this present government did not do anything in favour of the community.”
“We will stand inside the sun to vote, what is their usefulness, when they enter, what is their usefulness,” he lamented in frustration.
An elderly man who resides in the community, Yaya Yusuf, explained that the community has made efforts to seek government’s intervention to rebuild the school, but, all to no avail.
He stated that the community had once built a school for itself before the government built it.
He said, “We wrote letters, we went to the local government, but no response, it was the government that built it, we also built one before in 1983 before it got old and when it collapsed, the government built their own.”
However, Yusuf explained that after the government built the school in the community, parents were left to maintain it as everything was forgotten, and had not been revisited by the government.
Parents and guardians have spoken out against the appalling conditions of the public school, which has neither doors nor windows and a broken roof that forces teachers to cancel classes whenever it is about to rain.
A parent, Adeshina Bamidele, while lamenting, said that students have no access to toilets and had to resort to easing themselves in the bush.
The sorry state of the school has also made it a breeding ground for snakes, which find their way into the classroom due to the surrounding bush.
“Aside from a broken roof, there are no doors or windows. The situation occasioned by the dilapidated schools has so many times forced teachers to cancel school whenever it’s about to rain,” Bamidele said.
He added that the students receive lessons under the tree in the school premises, whenever the heat is too much in the classroom, adding that the school closes sometimes when the wind blows or is about to rain.
The sorry state of the public school in the community has affected both students and teachers of the school as the situation was so dire that they had to stop lessons whenever it was about to rain.
“Our students stay under rain and sun to receive lessons. The bush beside the school makes snakes enter the classroom, and during the rainy season, the classroom will be leaking,” another source lamented.
Students Drop Out Of School, Opt For Farming
As life has been made unbearable for people in this community, most of the children had resolved to farm as it is the only best option available for them.
Most of the children have no access to basic education and have resorted to farming as the only available option.
This has become a norm in the community, as most youths have also abandoned their education and have taken to farming to make ends meet.
Adediran Fatai, who is a youth, told PLATFORM TIMES that lack of financial capability has also contributed to the high rate of school dropouts in the community.
He explained that most youths are unable to afford higher education and, as a result, have no choice but to engage in farming.
However, he concluded that farming, though a noble profession, is not an ideal substitute for education.
He said, “It is not a guarantee of a better future, as the income from farming is not stable and is often affected by external factors such as weather and market conditions.
“It is important to note that education is a long-term investment that pays off in the long run, it opens doors to better opportunities and improves the quality of life.”
The community therefore called on the government, private organizations, and well-meaning individuals to come to its aide.
The community begged them to provide adequate support and ensure that every child in Gbangbade has access to quality education.
The community added that only this can break the vicious cycle of poverty and transform the community into a thriving and prosperous one.
Estimated reading time: 1 minute(s)
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