Residents of Alagbado Community in Ilorin South Local Government Area of Kwara State are at a lost on where to take their children and wards in Senior Secondary School classes to, on 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 five classrooms all occupied by two hundred students of senior secondary school students one (SS1).
Interraction 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 senior secondary school came to be.
According to him, the facility now referred to as Sobi Alagbado Senior Secondary School was originally a project for a skill Acquisition Center by the Federal Government abandoned since 2018.
Alh. Ibrahim further explained that the structure is already overstretched.
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 round the facility not only confirmed the explanations provided by Alh. Ibrahim, it also revealed more about the school structure.
Resting on a tree right in front of the facility is a wooden post showing the title of the project, the name of the contractor and the name of the client.
The information written on both sides of the board confirmed that the facility was indeed meant for 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 serve 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 over head tank was seen around the premises.
This revealed that the building used by the community is an adhoc arrangement by the community to cater for children that completed their junior secondary school education in the area.
The school environment is also unsuitable for learning, social activities and mental development as the students are exposed to harsh weather conditions which threaten learning.
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 efforts of the community.
This has, however become a dilemma as the structure can no longer accommodate more students than it already has.
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 on 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 seek to terminate the contract.
Further interractions with the community members revealed that government has also made effort to give the community 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.
In the words of Malcolm X, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
How can this be achieved if the education facilities of the Alagbado community are in Jeopardy?
This form of non-structured educational system will not only collapse with time but also produce semi-educated persons which will, in turn, be a problem to the development of the community and the nation at large.
As it stands now, the community is willing to agree with the government and as well profer a solution to speed up their educational infrastructure before the 17th of September 2022 when school will resume.