Quality education in a conducive environment for Children is one of the best legacies any government can offer to attain sustainable development.
This was the consensus of children, Teachers and Rights activists on the state of the Nigerian public schools on the occasion of the 2019 Day of the African child in Ondo state.
It will be recalled that on the 16th day of June 1976 Children in Soweto, South Africa marched in protest against the poor education they received while also calling for the use of their indigenous language as the medium of teaching in the country
Similarly, In Nigeria today, many of the public schools that produced notable Nigerians have become shadows of what they used to be, prompting children and Rights activists to demand urgent intervention in the schools.
while lamenting the situation, some public schools pupils in Ondo state who spoke with Radio Nigeria said they deserved conducive environment like some of their mates in private schools.
Bimpe Mercy, a student in one of the Public secondary schools in Akure said some of the classes in her school no more have windows to prevent rain during heavy downpour.
Another pupil Banjo Akinsanmi lamented the lack of well equipped science laboratory and the dilapidating state of the hall in his school.
Some Teachers in Muslim High School, Ore in Odigbo Local government area said there was no toilet, no security guard while a wall of one of the old buildings collapsed last week during the rain.
At Comprehensive High School, Akinfolarin, also in Odigbo in Odigbo local government area of Ondo state, some teachers who commended efforts of the state government in overhauling some schools however said much still needed to be done in the area of school infrastructure development.
They maintained that the school needed general renovation as some of the roofs of the classrooms have been removed while other blocks are dilapidated.
They added that three arms of the senior secondary school sections have been merged together due to insufficient classrooms while teachers were sitting around the school corners as a result of dilapidated staffroom of the school.
A child rights activist Mr Martin Mary Falana called for collective efforts to revive the public schools.
Mr Falana who said government really needed to invest more in school infrastructure however observed that many of the schools needed little community effort and assistance of well to do individuals to return to shape.
While speaking on 2019 theme of the Day of the African chid “Humanitarian Action in Africa: Child rights first, ” Mr Falana charged Ondo state government to find lasting solution to flooding in the riverine Areas of the state which had largely affected Children’s education in that axis.
He specially called attention to Ayetoro community, in Ilaje area that is often submerged by flooding during rainy season which had displaced many pupils while some learn under trees.
He opined that quality education for children in conducive environment is capable of ensuring sustainable development for the country in the future adding that education is the best legacy to the pupils to transform Nigeria
The Director Child, Ondo state ministry of women affairs, Mr Niyi Ogunleye who acknowledged that conducive environment was central to the African child’s development explained that the Government had commenced gradual renovation of public schools while the Mega schools attested to the value placed on education in the state.
He said the government would continue to give priority to children’s right.
Other respondents who reacted want a considerable part of the state budget to be committed to overhauling the public schools so the pupils can compete favourably with their mates locally and internationally.