Dare (right in green), with his teacher Mrs Olugbode, responds to questions from visitors.
“My daddy is happy because I am doing better in school” – says Dare Oluwunmi, Primary 6 student at Ilapo community school, Ilapo in Alimosho LGEA, Lagos State.
Dare’s parents recently relocated to their family house in Alimosho LGEA. He was withdrawn from a private school in Dopemu to attend Ilapo Primary school because it is nearer home and cheaper.
Ilapo community primary school was established in January 2009 by the state government to address the difficulties experienced by school children and parents in accessing education in the area. The nearest public school is 20km away and is located across the ever busy Lagos-Abeokuta expressway. The school was selected by SUBEB as one of the five ESSPIN pilot schools under Alimosho LGEA and is supervised by State School Improvement Team member Mrs. E. Folashade Alajiki.
ESSPIN’s support to the reform of the Lagos education sector involves improving the planning and management of basic education by government authorities, making schools accessible to all, and addressing education quality issues including the development of better teacher training.
Mrs. Beatrice Ayoade has 33 years teaching experience and Ilapo Primary School is her latest posting. The school currently has five teachers supported by three non teaching staff who have also worked with the SSIT to improve their teaching skills.
Since 2010, Mrs. Ayoade has benefitted from the trainings and workshops organized by the ESSPIN supported SSIT. The trainings equipped her with better school management skills which she uses daily in the school.
She recalls some of the difficulties she faced when she first started; before ESSPIN support came in. “The school had no existing infrastructure, no classrooms, no chairs, and no table. I had to use personal funds to clear the land for temporary structures.” She got some assistance from the community through the influence of the traditional ruler. He helped mobilize the community through the SBMC and donations started coming in. The temporary structures were put up within a month.
The pupils appreciate the new approaches in the classroom. “Ï like the way the teachers teach us, they are kind” says Joel Okpanachi in Primary 4.
Mrs. Ayoade knows the school has a long way to go but she finds joy in the pupils’ perseverance and determination to be the best they can be. She hopes to make significant improvement in the school before the next round of teacher deployment takes place.