Lagos Assembly, reprimands school principal for lack of maintenance culture

    • Proposes Education Trust Fund

    By Lanre Adesanya

    The discouraging state of learning facilities in Eletu Odibo Senior High School, has been queried by the Lagos State Assembly committee on Education,stressing that though the state need do more with respect to provision of infrastructures in the school, the available few should be preserved.

    The chairman of the committee, Hon Lanre Ogunyemi decried the unkempt state of facilities in school while addressing the press after a visit to Education District IV in Yaba Area, which was the climax of a visit to the six districts in the state.

    The lawmaker noted that his committee was able to discover many things after seeing the level of infrastructure in the schools visited and that the state needed to build more schools and provide more infrastructures for the schools.

    He stated that Lagos State should lead in all aspects, and that there are a lot of things to be done in the state schools.

    “I would say that the government cannot do everything, we need the support of the private sector to provide infrastructure in our schools. However, I feel that we need to have Education Trust Fund in the state and the Education Committee of the House is working towards that,” he said.

    The Committee was received at the District by the Tutor General/Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Are-Adegbite Lola and other senior staff of the district.

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    Ogunyemi made it clear that the situation of things at Eletu Odibo Senior High School that the Committee visited in the district was not encouraging.

    Ogunyemi lamented the obvious abandoned state of the school’s Information Centre, as the computers were dusty, he stressed that more should be done to make the schools in the district and in the state better.

    He hinted that visits to the districts are announced, but that of the district in question was deliberately not announced so as to ascertain the real state of things there.

    “We visit any school in the district to see things for ourselves. We must ensure that we do our best in the sector and leave it better than we met it. Education is critical to development whether economic or social.

    “The sector should be a reference point to other states in the federation. We believe that access to education should not be for the rich alone, our public schools are important because our government supervises the private schools. So we need to make our schools better,” he said.

    Ogunyemi subsequently  called for the support of the private sector in education in the state, and added that reports of schools inspectors should be critically analysed.

    He said that the oversight works of the committee have revealed the shortcomings in the sector, but that the little the government is providing for the schools should be properly utilised.

    “All hands must be on deck to make our schools better. We summoned the Principal of Eletu Odibo Grammar School because we didn’t meet her on ground. The school has a challenge of accommodation and the ICT Centre there is lifeless. Also, the environment of the school is not conducive for learning. Our oversight function would be a continuous exercise.

    Reacting, Mrs. Are-Adegbite promised to go round the schools in the district and thanked the committee members for their visit.

    She stated that she has always been trying to correct the wrongs in the district headquarters and the schools and promised that officers in the district would do their best to make the schools there better.

    Also the harassment of a student of Eva Adelaja Girls Secondary School, Bariga, Lagos has attracted the attention of the Education Committee of the State House of Assembly.

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    To this end, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Olanrewaju Ogunyemi has said that the incident would be investigated by the committee, just as he promised that the House would champion the introduction of Education Trust Fund in the state.

    It will be recalled that one Ogechi Blessing, 14-year-old SS2 student of the school was said to have been beaten to comma in the school on 16th of March 2016.

    She was allegedly made to strip off her shorts and canned on her bare buttocks and slapped severely by the principal and five other teachers because she returned the slap on her face from the head girl who slapped her first.

    It was reported that the head girl then reported to the school authorities, which in turn physically battered her and then made her cut grass for four hours under the sun.

    Ogunyemi stated that he wouldn’t want to judge the  case, but that if what was reported was true, then what the principal and the teachers did was wrong.

    “Why would the senior girl slap another student, that is very wrong. Also, if the school wants to punish any student, they should only give him or her four strokes of cane and this has to be supervised by the principal.

    “All the same
    , the House Committee on Education would wade into the matter and investigate what happened with a view to preventing a future occurrence.