Residents of Alagbado Community in Ilorin South Local Government Area of Kwara State are at a loss on where to take their children and wards in Senior Secondary School classes, on the resumption of a new academic calendar come September, 17th this year.
This is because the structure presently being used to accommodate Senior Secondary School students in the community has only four classrooms all occupied by students of senior secondary school students one (SS1).
Interaction with some members of the community revealed that the government-owned secondary school began academic work in the 2021/2022 session.
Until then, senior class students in the community, which is made up of fifty-two other communities, have to travel long distances to attend classes.
In an exclusive interview, one of the leaders in the community, Alh. Isiaka Omotayo Ibrahim gave a background to how the only structure used for public secondary school came to be.
According to him, “the facility now referred to as Sobi Alagbado Senior Secondary School was originally an abandoned project for a skill Acquisition Center by the Federal Government in 2018.
Alh. Ibrahim further explained that the structure with only four classrooms and administrative offices is already overstretched as it accommodates over two hundred students in senior secondary one and thirty-two teachers at the school’s inception.
Alhaji Ibrahim maintained that the idea of establishing a Skill Acquisition Center for the community would have been rejected if residents had been carried along before the commencement of the project as the pressing need of the community is a befitting senior secondary school facility.
A tour around the facility not only confirmed the explanations provided by Alh. Ibrahim, it also revealed more about the school structure.
Resting on a tree/pole right in front of the facility is a wooden post showing the project’s title, the contractor’s name and the client’s name.
The information written on both sides of the board confirmed that the facility was indeed meant for a skill acquisition center and that the project is a constituency project approved by the Federal Government.
A closer look at the structure revealed that the ceiling is yet to be done, what serves as the windows, are net.
There are signs that pipes for toilet and water facilities were laid and a borehole was sighted in front of the school.
But, no overhead tank was seen around the premises while a single water closet toilet was seen behind the building.
Alhaji Ibrahim explained that the window nets, the seats in the classrooms and the only toilet facility used by the thirty -two teachers deployed by the State Government to the school, were provided by the community.
The response by Alhaji Ibrahim on the toilet facility explains the reason for the human waste seen littered behind the school premises, no doubt people have to obey the call of nature.
“Of course, to the community, the abandoned skill acquisition center project was a blessing as the facility was approved for use as a senior secondary school by the State Government due to community efforts.
“This has, however, become a dilemma as the structure can no longer accommodate more students than it already has,” he said.
Speaking on the issue, a stakeholder in the community fondly called Baba Correct and also a facilitator of the only public primary school in the area, gave his account of the efforts made by the community to sustain educational development through self-help.
Baba Correct explained that the Junior Secondary School structure in Alagbado is being run in a rented facility and that the arrangement is also been threatened as the owner of the rented apartment seeks to terminate the contract.
Further interactions with the community members revealed that the government has also made effort to give the community of about fifty thousand residents a befitting junior secondary school.
However, what now stands in the approved location for the junior secondary school is a block of two classrooms and offices which now accommodate students in JS 3.
Although there are many issues bothering the minds of residents of Alagbado Community, their major concern now is where to accommodate the incoming SS One students or where to move the SS Two students to when the academic session begins in less than a month now.
Their only hope is that government, non-governmental organizations and philanthropists would come to their aid soon enough to avoid jeopardising the education of their children and wards.
However, the community leaders appealed to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to rise to the need for education in the Algbado community as the hope of some students is not certain whether they will have a classroom to learn before the 17th of September 2020 when school will resume
More so, the senior secondary school may sooner or later be asked to vacate their present location should the contractor handling the Skill Acquisition Center be remobilised to resume work.