The Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD), a civil society organisation in Kwara State has faulted the funding of education in the state, claiming that most of the public schools there are a caricature of their old setting.
The group which visited over 30 schools where the 2017 Federal Government Zonal Intervention Projects were located said, public schools across the state were in a state of shame.
Alagbonsi Abdullateef, the coordinator of ENetSuD, noted that the deplorable conditions of the schools with dilapidated structures make them unhealthy for effective teaching and learning.
This, they said, could have been one of the reasons for low patronage of public schools, thereby making privates schools the next option for people who want a befitting school for their children and wards.
The group noted that due to the negligence by the state government, it is regrettable that the reputable schools in the past that produced virtually all the important personalities in the state are now the options for only the poor who cannot afford private schools.
Aside infrastructure decay, the group pointed out that most of the schools are understaffed with some of the schools having just 5 teachers, infact, some schools are said to have just one teacher in about 27 local governments.
“How then is effective teaching and learning expected to take place in these schools considering the grossly insufficient number of teaching staff. It is also quite worrisome that despite the large number of certified and qualified Kwarans who are yet to be employed, who could fill u the shortage, majority of public schools remain understaffed”, the group lamented.
While it commended the federal government for the construction of classrooms in various schools across the state as part of the zonal intervention and the International Vocational, Technical and Entrepreneurship College (IVTEC) Ajase-Ipo by the state government, the group condemned the government for lack of maintenance culture.
As such, the group said it does not have confidence in the state government to be able to maintain the new ones recently constructed with tax payers’ money.
They however recommended that the state government provide adequate budgetary provisions for the counterpart funds that will enable it secure the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) grants, so as to address the infrastructural needs of the schools.
“Moreover, the state government should totally take charge of the infrastructural needs of the Senior Secondary School, since the Primary and the Junior Secondary Schools have been covered by UBEC grants. Overall, we are calling on the Kwara State government to urgently declare a state of emergency in the educational system of the state”, they added.