In case the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola or his aides, are reading this piece, their attention is urgently needed at Community Secondary School, Bayeku in Ikorodu area of the State. Reason? The school is an academic embarrassment.
The Governor has repeatedly promised qualitative education to Lagosians with "Adopt a School Project" initiative where private organisations and individuals are encouraged to give public schools a facelift. Since the inception of the initiative, many schools have benefitted immensely.
Examples are Community Senior Secondary School, Tafawa Balewa Crescent; Sari Secondary School, Sari Iganmu; Dolphin Senior High School, Lagos Island and Senior Secondary School, Keffi Ikoyi which can now compete favourably with their private counterparts in terms of basic amenities like functional laboratories and information technology, modern classrooms and toilet facilities, among others.
During Vanguard Metro's visit to Dolphin Senior High School Lagos Island and Sari Secondary School, Sari-Iganmu, students and teachers were seen carrying out the day's activities without stress as academic activities took place under a conducive environment; also, there was regular water and power supply in these schools.
But the reverse is the case at Community Secondary school, Bayeku in Ikorodu. The school is bogged down by challenges ranging from dilapidated school buildings, inadequate classrooms, non-functional library, laboratories, lavatories to late attendance of pupils to school.
Also, some structures in the school are so badly damaged that the urgent intervention of government is required to avoid further damages to the school.
The school which was founded on September 5, 1983 is dilapidated and no longer conducive for learning. With the recent 2013 weather forecast, the threat of rains has become a serious concern to students, parents and teachers, especially as learning and other activities usually come to a halt each time it rains.
Teachers and students still cannot forget the downpour of Sunday July 10, 2011 which caused the collapse of the perimeter fencing of the school, exposing them to the menace of street urchins. The school has only two buildings with leaking roofs. The buildings are complemented by some makeshift structures with few chairs and tables which cannot serve the number of students in the school. Due to shortage of classrooms, all JSS 1 and 3 students are forced to receive lectures under a tree, except during examinations when they have to swap with JSS 2 students who are entitled to some of the classrooms.
The rains have made learning very difficult for the students. Some students who spoke to VM said the last time it rained, both the students sitting under the trees and classrooms were drenched, leading to the suspension of academic activities for the day.
"In fact, some of us were moved from one 'classroom' to another which disrupted learning. The teachers were helpless as the situation forced them to stop teaching. Temporary respite came when some concerned citizens donated some building materials for construction of more classrooms but the effort was jeopardised due to inadequate fund.
As at the time of filing this report, the perimeter fencing of the school is yet to be reconstructed. Some neighbours who spoke with VM complained that some students now indulge in nefarious activities in and around the school. "Their hideouts are uncompleted buildings and they use dangerous weapons freely," said Mr and Mrs Segun Ayilara.
A proprietor of a private school, who pleaded anonymity, said some students of this school are cultists who visit his school with dangerous weapons to distrupt academic activities. "We have reported them to the school authorities but the teachers are helpless as they are beaten up by the students at slightest opportunity," he said.
When VM spoke with some of the students, they said they were already used to the situation as the school is the only high school in the community. Some of them also complained of sharp practices on the part of teachers which they said has added to the existing problems.