Despite The State Government's Access To A N7 Billion Education Fund, Pupils At Kwara Primary School Learn Under Trees

The students defecate freely in a bush near the school and learn beneath the shade of the trees that dot the school grounds.

The classrooms of LGEA School, Eyenkorin in Kwara State, according to a report by SaharaReporters, are old, damaged, and overcrowded.

The primary school has been open since 1982 and currently has roughly 150 students, although there are insufficient desks and chairs. There is no library or even a desktop computer in the school, and there are no toilets or recreational or extracurricular activity facilities.

The students defecate freely in a bush near the school and learn beneath the shade of the trees that dot the school grounds.

When SaharaReporters visited the school in the Asa local government area of Kwara on Wednesday, the students were dispersed over the campus, in various classes under the shade of various trees. A instructor was assigned to each class.

“Our students have been learning under the trees since early 2021, when a strong downpour ruined the courses we were managing,” a teacher told Saharareporters on condition of anonymity.

The teacher went on: “We will close for the day if it rains, even if it is 9 a.m., because there are no classes for students to hide in.

“Many parents have pulled their children out of this school because of constant headaches caused by the searing sun that rises and sets on the students.”

Another teacher informed SaharaReporters that the students aren’t the only ones affected by the crisis.

“The teacher inquired, “How do you expect us to give our best in this kind of environment where there are no classrooms, offices, or modern facilities to impact contemporary knowledge on the pupils?”

“I was fed up with this job because of the scenario.”

The state government recently erected a new block with two classrooms with an office for the school, but it has yet to be opened, according to SaharaReporters.

The building was reportedly created after multiple petitions and lobbying efforts to the government, but a teacher told SaharaReporters that “it would not be enough to prevent the children from learning under the tree.”

“To stop open defecation among the students, we need additional classrooms and toilets in the school,” the teacher stated.

For the first time since 2013, when the state was blacklisted from the national program, the state government received N7.15 billion (N7,151,142,190) from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) in mid-2021.

The N7.15 billion, according to the government, represents an accumulation of UBEC grants that were not used between 2014 and 2019.

“The monies could not be accessible since the previous government did not pay its own equivalent funds.”

“This is a historic achievement for Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, who has worked for the past year to reposition basic education in the state.

In a statement, the Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Fatimah Ahmed, stated, “This began with the payment of N450 million diverted monies, which had thrown Kwara State under the hammer of the UBEC.”

The UBEC grants, among other things, were intended for the renovation of dilapidated basic schools, the construction of new ones, the equipping of schools with ICT tools, teacher training, and project evaluation, according to the UBEC work plan.

“This money will be invested in installments over the next two years to repair up to 600 elementary schools around the state,” according to the statement.

Despite receiving N7.15 million in UBEC intervention money, kids at LGEA School, Eyenkorin, in the state’s Asa local government area, continue to receive their education under the shade of trees.

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