Recently, as part of the ongoing effort of the Government of Ekiti State in education, the government has constructed a perimeter fence for some primary schools in Oye town, the host of Oye Local Government.
The fencing was said to have been one of the Universal Basic Education Commission and State Universal Basic Education Board UBEC/SUBEB projects. These projects cut across different local governments within the state.
The projects, according to the signposts erected by the contractors, were awarded at different periods.
In the case of CAC Nursery & Primary School located on Irona Street in the Oye community, the project was titled ‘2017 Intervention Year’ and awarded to Supersam/Sons Global Concepts, a construction company located at Ijigbo, Ado Ekiti and constructed in 2020.
At St. Michael Nursery & Primary School, market axis, the fencing project was labelled ‘UBEC/SUBEB 2014 Project,’ but it was built in 2019 and the contractor is not displayed. However, the case of St. Mary’s Catholic Nursery & Primary School is different as there was no indication related to the project year.
However, sitting in the middle of the new fence are dilapidated school buildings, old buildings, windowless classrooms and torn down roofs. Also, there are no modern toilet cisterns or sewages among other absent amenities.
Students, Residents And Teachers React
From an overview reaction, the residents of Oye community expressed dissatisfaction towards the project.
A student who spoke with a CAMPUS REPORTER said even though her school now looks good, the leaking roof still needs to be fixed.
“We now have a new fence and even painted. Our school is now fine. They will do our pans too,” said Mariam, a primary 4 student of CAC Nursery and Primary School.
According to Sunday, a man who lives on Irona street in Oye and plays football at St. Michael n&p Nursery and Primary School, the fencing is not a welcome development as it hinders him from playing football as he used to.
“That is not the first to do. They fenced all the school while some classrooms are not in good condition. They abandoned some classrooms already. This has not really helped the students at all because it is not affecting their learning in any way,” he added.
“I played ball here most times and the field was always neat and free of grass. Look at it now, it has been fenced and no one could enter to play ball. The field is filled with grasses and all, he added.
“I really appreciate what the government has done. It is clear that they are only trying to make sure our children are free and safe whenever they are in school. The fencing is a good idea though, I won’t say it is bad,” a parent who identified himself as ‘Daddy Samuel’ expressed.
“What I will only say is that the government should help us to see to the issues of leaking roofing, bad blocks, toilets and others necessary,” he concluded.
“I won’t mention my name, I am a staff here,” a teacher at one of these schools informed the reporter.
According to her, on different occasions, her school has been to the Ministry of Education to inform them of the state of the school but all was to no avail.
“We had written to the ministry about the difficulty we are facing here. They promised to come around but nothing has happened except the fencing. We need water, toilets (both students and staff) and one of the building roofing is leaking, an amendment is needed. All these should be touched too.”
“Conducive learning is better but not only in the environment but also under good learning conditions,” she added.
Update From Ekiti Government
On the 15th of October 2020, through its Twitter page, the Ekiti state government updated its progress on public education.
The tweet, on the State’s account, shows the government has embarked on serious infrastructural development by constructing classrooms, digging boreholes, providing toilets among many other amenities.
“In primary schools, a total of 591 projects are ongoing: 196 new building construction, 146 new fences, 167 new toilets, and 82 boreholes. In secondary schools, a total of 190 projects are ongoing: 80 new building construction, 32 new fences, 55 new toilets, and 23 boreholes.”
It also said the projects are in line with matters of urgency.
Access To UBEC Funding
According to an update on the Ekiti state website published on the 7th of August 2020, the government, in its promises to the Ekiti people on infrastructure and education, embarked on a ‘state-wide infrastructure improvements in schools’ which made it possible to access the Universal Basic Education Commission UBEC funding which could not be accessed between 2014-2018.
Also, it is said that the funding makes it possible for the government to start a total number of 781 school projects.
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