After many years of neglect of the basic education system in Nigeria, there are now increasing efforts by government and various partners to develop and improve the quality of education Nigeria children are receiving. Although the continuing poor state of many schools may suggest that progress is slow, some education players in Lagos State are beginning to see changes and improvement in schools.
“We have been witnessing some changes in our school lately. They may seem little but they have brought improvement to our school”, said Mrs S. A. Owolabi, Head Teacher, Ajegunle Primary School, Agege.
Owolabi has been the head teacher of Ajegunle Primary School since 2009. Since then her school has been benefiting from a wide range of school improvement support from ESSPIN through its integrated approach to improving many different components of the school system.
“I received trainings in school leadership and management sponsored by ESSPIN. These have helped me to plan and manage the school effectively. Teachers in the school have also been trained. Teaching is now child-centred. Teachers talk less now and allow the pupils to do more of the classroom activities. They also teach only subjects they specialise in, not any and every subject”, said Owolabi.
Indicating other areas where changes are happening, Owolabi added “Our infrastructure is also improving. We received some funds from ESSPIN which we used to repair two classrooms for 114 pupils. The pupils find the rooms more attractive to learning now”.
She explained further that the Agege community has started to show interest in the school, an important element of school improvement. For instance, artisans near the school helped with the painting of the two classrooms, other artisans did some repairs, and the Baale of Ajegunle, the community leader, provided a colour television as a learning aid.
“There are many other challenges in the school – poor security, poor toilet facilities, inadequate classrooms – but at least the school is improving, bit by bit”, the head teacher concluded.