Some call it habit, some call it addiction, some call it abuse, what does matters is, it was a bad idea from the start and for the rest of my life I regretted it. I shouldn’t have even thought about it much less engage in it but I was too far gone to go back on my actions, and, like I said earlier, we tend to forget that our actions have repercussions and we are bound to face them either we like them or not. The same masturbation I took solace in to substitute for the girls turned out to be more distracting than girl’s problem and that’s saying something. I figured I couldn’t possibly win this war so I switched to trying as much as possible to balance it with my education while fighting it or I might just as well put off fighting it till I am fully equipped to. Wrong again!
The Economic and Financial crimes Commission, EFCC, Sokoto zonal office, on June 17, 2019 secured the interim forfeiture of N60 million cash linked to a former Secretary to the Zamfara State Government, Prof. Abdullahi Muhammad Shinkafi and Murtala Muhammad Shinkafi.
Justice Fadima Murtala of the Federal High Court, sitting in Gusau, Zamfara State, granted the order for the interim forfeiture of the said sum.
The money was recovered in four ‘Ghana-must-go’ bags found inside a Black Land Cruiser Prado Jeep with registration No: DKA 67 PX (Kaduna), at No.145 Igala Hausing Estate, off By-pass Road Gusau.
The order was pursuant to a motion ex-parte dated June 13, 2019 brought by the EFCC.
The Headteacher of the Government Primary School, Atu Street, Calabar South, Mrs Okang Eta, in an interview with The PUNCH, bemoaned the challenges the school was grappling with.
She said, “We don’t have enough classrooms. In some cases, we have up to two or three classes in one room. Like in my nursery class, I have two classes there.
“The class is rowdy when teachers are teaching. It is the same situation in Primary Two. We have two classes in one room. In Primary Three, we have three classes in one room. It is the same thing with primary four and five where classes are merged. We really need accommodation.”
Eta added that the school needed a sick bay and a library.
On her part, the Headteacher, Redeemer Lutheran Primary School, Nelson Mandela Street, Calabar South, Mrs Bassey Nkoyo Edet, said the school needed toilet facilities in addition to desks and tables.
She added, “It is a latrine (pit toilet) we use here because of lack of water. We have about six latrines. We also need desks. If you go into the classrooms, you will see the children sitting on bare floor. We have written to the government about all these challenges, especially lack of benches in classrooms, and actions are being taken on the letter.”
Corroborating the teachers, the state Chairman of the NUT, Eyo-Nsa Itam, confirmed the problems public primary schools in the state were facing.
Itam, “It is true that children sit on bare floor to learn while teachers teach under the trees in some schools. Government’s intervention is one-sided and at times taken to areas where there isn’t much need for the intervention because of political consideration and at the end of the day, you will see many classrooms empty, while there are some areas that need such interventions but are neglected.
“If you go to some rural areas, you will see 10 blocks of classrooms and at the end of the day, only two blocks will be used.”
But the Chairman of SUBEB in the state, Dr Steve Odey, said the board was doing its best to address the challenges in primary schools..
However, the state Commissioner for Education, Gertrude Oduka, said the state government had invested billions of naira in improving standard of education in the state, adding that the government had built 305 primary school buildings in the 27 local government areas of the state.
In Sokoto State, it was learnt that there had been an increase in enrolment in public primary schools, but the infrastructure could not cope with the increment.
The PUNCH learnt that in the Rimawa Primary School in Goronyo Local Government Area of the state, there was an upsurge in enrolment. The headteacher, Mallam Yusuf Abdullahi, confirmed this.
But further investigations showed that infrastructure could no longer cope with the increased enrolment as classrooms were becoming dilapidated and overcrowded.
At the Rimawa Primary School, Goronyo, the buildings were dilapidated and its roofs were damaged. It was observed that many pupils sat on bare floor during classes when one of our correspondents visited the school.
When contacted, the state Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Prof Aisha Madawaki, declined comment, saying she could not provide answers to inquiries on the phone.
In Gombe State, at the Local Education Authority Primary School, Kaltungo, one of our correspondents observed that the roofs of some classrooms had been blown off by wind.
The Secretary to the SUBEB in the state, Hajiya Zulaihatu Madugu, said the roofs were blown off recently by thunderstorms, adding that an assessment had been done to ascertain the level of damage.
Hope Primary School, Mafoluku, Oshodi, Lagos. Photo: Olukayode Jaiyeola
In Ekiti State, it was learnt that the absence of fence was affecting many primary schools in the state.
It was gathered that while teachers and pupils at the Muslim Nursery/Primary School, Iworoko Ekiti, contended with cow dung and human faeces every morning, those at the Community Nursery/Primary School, Obada, Ise Ekiti had their school farms grazed by cows.
A resident of Obada, Ise Ekiti, who identified himself simply as Emma, said, “The pupils are young. I pity seeing them cut the grass. Their teachers join them in cutting the grass, if not, the story would have been different.”
But the Commissioner for Education, Foluso Daramola, blamed the situation in the primary schools on alleged neglect for four years by the immediate-past government.
One of our correspondents, who visited some public primary schools in Enugu State, said most of the institutions had no toilet facilities. He observed that where there were toilets, the buildings were dilapidated.
The schools visited included the Construction Primary School, Asata, inside St. Michael Catholic Church, Asata and Carter Primary School, Ogui. Others were the Practising Primary Schools 1, 2, 3 and 4, Emene, Opposite St. Patrick’s Secondary School.
It was gathered that Practising Primary Schools 1, 2, 3 and 4 had no toilet facilities and water.
It was also observed that the structures were dilapidated.
A teacher at the Practising Primary Schools, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “Here in this complex, we are four schools– 1, 2, 3 and 4. In this school three, we have closed to 300 pupils. We don’t have toilet facilities and water at all in the schools.”
When contacted, the Commissioner for Education, Prof Uche Eze, said, “In Enugu State, we have done so much in terms of school infrastructure and this government is still out planning on how to do more. I know before 2023 you would not recognise schools in Enugu State again.”
In Osun State, visited by one of our correspondents, schools in some rural areas revealed that pupils were learning under terrible conditions.
The schools visited included the Saint Paul’s Elementary School, Ilase Ijesa, in Obokun Local Government Area; Local Authority Elementary/Middle School, Dagbolu in Ifelodun Local Government and the Christ Apostolic Church Elementary/Middle School, Idi Ogungun, Boripe Local Government Area of the state.
At the Saint Paul’s Elementary School, Ilase Ijesa, The PUNCH observed that although some classrooms were still relatively conducive for learning, many buildings there were dilapidated.
Reacting, the Supervisor, Osun State Ministry of Education, Mr Kola Omotunde-Young, though did not dismiss The PUNCH’s findings, listed many schools in the rural areas that the immediate past administration and the present one had rehabilitated across the state.
In Lagos State, one of our correspondents on Friday observed that at the Alakoto Nursery and Primary School in Olodi Apapa, the classrooms were in a poultry-like shed.
A teacher, who confided in The PUNCH, said the school, which is not far from a market, had no sick bay, library and playground.
Also, the correspondent noticed that new buildings at the Oremeji Primary School in Tolu Complex and Ibafon Nursery and Primary School on Jones Waribi Street, were built by various organisations.
It was observed that although the school at Oremeji had a government-constructed building, only the top floor was in use. The bottom floor was uninhabited.
When contacted on the state of disrepair of public primary schools, the SUBEB chairman in the state, Ganiu Sopeyin, said he would not comment until after the Children’s Day celebration.
Also, the SUBEB Public Relations Officer, Ademuyiwa Akitoye, said he did not have enough information to speak on the matter.