OGUN COMMUNITIES LAMENT AS FLOOD AND MIGRATION CAUSES LOW ENROLLMENT IN VILLAGE SCHOOLS
Floods and migration in the agrarian communities have forced many to desert schools. When it rains, pupils abandon schools because of the bad roads and the poor conditions of the schools.
Our Correspondents visited the Methodist Primary School in Lerin Ilawo, the African Church Primary School in Balogun Ilawo, and the NUD Primary School in Ikiru Ilawo in the Odeda Local Government Area of Ogun State.
It was gathered that the three primary schools served more than 20 villages, which include: Lerin, Ariku, Yemo, Dende, Itori, Ajagbeka, Alamu, Omitola Jaiye, Akande, Daso, Ojoegba, Alafon, and Labande, among others.
But during visits, it was discovered that pupils in the three schools were not up to 100. The teachers attributed the low turnout to the flood, which has hindered many pupils from accessing roads that lead to the schools. They also claimed many of the pupils had relocated to a more developed area where they could access quality education
During the visit, it was gathered that the two classrooms were divided into mini classes. The pupils of primary 1, 2, and 3 shared a classroom, while pupils of primary 4, 5, and 6 also shared other classrooms.
One of the teachers, Deborah Adeyemi, said that the population of pupils in the school has reduced drastically in the last few years.
Adeyemi, who claimed to have spent over ten years at the school, also revealed that the current total population of pupils is not up to 100.
She said, “This school used to be a very populated school in the past, but all of a sudden the population started reducing. Because there were no students, teachers were moving out.
“Many of our students have migrated, and the flooding is not helping the matter either. We as teachers go through hell on a daily basis to get to the school, but some of the pupils cannot endure this, hence, they stop coming.”
Apart from pupils not being available, the conditions of the three schools visited were palatable,The pupils had to contend with leaking roofs, which always made the schools close early whenever it rained heavily.
Findings showed that except for the African Church Primary School in Balogun Ilawo, the two other schools were last renovated in 1991 by a former Chairman of the Odeda LG, Mr. B.O. Shoremi. Reacting, The Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Science, and Technology, Prof. Abayomi Arigbadu, admitted that he is aware of pupils deserting schools in the communities.
Speaking on the dilapidated conditions of the schools, the Ogun education commissioner said efforts are underway to rehabilitate all dilapidated schools across the state.