– Nwobi Chidubem Valentine
It is no longer news about the deplorable standard of education in Nigeria, especially in public Primary School. The sector did not choose to collapse on its own. It is greatly due to the poor quality teaching environment and inadequate funding of schools.
Parents in low-income communities cannot afford to purchase many of the basic textbooks. Those that can salvage something, often redistribute old books among their children, most of which are quickly outdated. It will be near impossible for the concerned children to meet the competency required in a fast-moving world.
This is the situation of public primary schools in Ayamelum Local Government in Anambra State, Nigeria. From report gathered from Udemezue Vincent Onochie and Okoye Veronica who volunteered to inspect the current state of public Primary Schools in Ayamelum, it’s observed that three communities; Omor, Igbakwu and Ifite Ogwari seems to suffer the most when it comes to poor education and infrastructure in the community.
At Nkwo Primary School in Omor, it was observed that there were no structures like school buildings, toilet facility etc. An age grade known as Olioku donated a portion of land (4 chains ie 5 plot) for storey building for the school which ASUBEB has approved but it is still undone till date.
As a result, the school uses the town halls at the square for classrooms, and on market days, the place becomes very unconducive for both the pupils and staff. Nkwo Primary School is one of the school in Anambra State that does not have school building.
There are very few seats in the classroom. The villagers also make use of the seat supplied for the student since 2014 at the town market and some other activities. Some take advantage of the broken ones and turned them to firewood. There are no furniture such as Teachers Tables, chair etc. The Headmistress(HM) uses a shop/store that is attached to one of the halls as her office.
There is no place where teaching aids, textbooks donated by the government years ago, and the generator and computer set donated by the Igwe(King) are been kept. These materials/equipment are kept in someone’s house for safe keeping.
The school doesn’t have any toilet facilities, water, except that the school is not too far from the community water pump. The town hall building where the pupil are managing is dilapidated.The village concerned has given a land for the school building and report of the land has been sent to the government long ago but the government has seemed not too concerned about the current state of schools in Omor.
At Community Primary School Ifite Ogwari, the situation is almost the same with the community Primary School in Omor. The school has no fence, toilet facility, school library. The school has electrical connections but it’s been a while they experienced electricity. The roof of the classroom building is so bad that learning is always suspended whenever it rains because water easily leak through them.
The Headmaster and the Admin doesn’t have any office of their own. The nursery section has no seat, so they seat on mat and bare floor. One of the teachers in the school Mr Okorie Christopher said they have written to ASUBEB (ANAMBRA STATE UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION BOARD) several times for projects to be done in the school, but they haven’t received a positive feedback.
At Community Primary School Igbakwu, they suffer the same fate with other schools in Ayamelum LGA. There is no perimeter fence. The toilet facility has collapsed and the villagers now turned the school compound to public toilet. A building project which was awarded since 2018 is yet to be completed.
At Unity Primary School Amikwe their classroom block is a little bit conducive for education. The school has non-functional electrical connections and no perimeter fencing. According to Mr Celestine Chetuya who attended the public primary school as a child said: “If not for the strong security formed by the people living in the community there will be a high case of child kidnapping in the community.”
He also said that “The people of the community doesn’t depend so much on the government, they solve most of their problem by themselves on which he has donated 20,000 (twenty thousand) naira when he has nothing doing, all for the good of the community.” In other to curb this menace, he suggested that “The people who are been appointed by the community to represent them in government at the grassroot level should help attractive infrastructure and improve the current state of the schools in the community.”
The school also has running tap water which was drawn from a neighbouring village known as Akanato. This was possible due to the help of His Royal Highness, Igwe, Dr Chris Oranu Chidume.
The traditional ruler of Omor, Ayamelum Local Government Area and his cabinet members. The first and second building in the school was built by an Age grade from the community. While the third structure in the school was done by the senator representing Anambra north by name Senator Stella Oduah.
Some other public primary schools in Ayamelum still suffer poor infrastructure and basic amenities such as perimeter fencing, functional toilet facility, library facility, tap water, conducive classroom block, leaking roof etc. These public primary schools are enlisted below;
– Akanato Primary School Omor
– Ayamelum MFS Omasi agu
– Community Primary school Umueje
– Igwebuike Primary school Umumbo
– Umuezeagu primary school Anaku
The admin of a popular blog known as ‘Ayamelum TV’ confirmed the report that there is no primary school in Ayamelum that has perimeter fence, only few has toilet facility. He also noted that the effort of parents and some individuals to attract government intervention in public primary schools in the Local Government has been futile and fruitless.
Some of the structure like toilet facility built by the government centuries ago has become dysfunctional, mostly due to poor maintenance and management. All effort to speak with ASUBEB chairman Mr Ejike Patrick Ugbaja on the current poor situation of public primary schools in Ayamelum and the role they have to play in such situations, wasn’t successful.
Ayamelum has remained in bad shape for years when it comes to infrastructure and basic amenities in public primary schools. We call on the government to come to the intervention of this people, because they are the future leaders. And no one can lead without proper education.