Pupils of Jimoh Ojora Primary School now excited about schooling
Jimoh Ojora Primary School II in Ifelodun Local Council Development Association (LCDA) is a breath of fresh air among public schools in Lagos State. The school now has toilets and clean water for its pupils and teachers. The classrooms and buildings are looking new, with a fence around them. The teachers are being trained and most importantly, its 455 pupils are learning better.
“The Jimoh Ojora Primary School of today is a success story when compared with the Jimoh Ojora of two years ago,” Lydia Adetuba, the head teacher said. According to her, the school was lacking basic opportunities for learning until a series of interventions.
“It all started when the Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN) provided us toilets and a water borehole,” she explained. “This seriously improved the school sanitation.”
“We used to poo poo inside papers and then throw them into the bush,” Veronica Igwe, 12-year old, Primary-6 girl recalled. “Now we use the
toilets and there is water to clean ourselves.”
When some locals, entering the school without restriction, started to misuse the facilities, the council reacted. It built a fence round the school which now protects the facilities, but more importantly provides a secure environment for the pupils. Some months later, the council attended to another need in the school: it renovated the classrooms – new roofs, smooth floors, painted walls and new furniture. Today, the pupils learn in much improved classrooms.
Olayinka Akin-Johnson, Head of Department of Education in Ifelodun LCDA described the renovation as “making the school environment more conducive for learning.”
The teachers are impressed with the improved infrastructure, and also for their regular trainings by the State School Improvement Team (SSIT).
Mercy Ukoha, a primary-four teacher, said: “I wanted to reject my posting to the school on my first day because of its poor state. But within six months things changed – ESSPIN provided toilets and a borehole, the local council renovated the entire building, and SSIT has been training us. Honestly, there has been a great change.”
The school community of parents and some Ifelodun residents are happy too. Through the Parents’ Forum (PF) and School-Based Management Committee (SBMC), they plan to be paying the wages of two new cleaners to maintain the toilets.
“The children are improving especially in their neatness and academic work,” Khadijat Abibulahi, a visibly impressed mother said.For her and many others, this is an outcome of the improvement in the school infrastructure, initiated by UKaid-funded ESSPIN and followed-up by Ifelodun LCDA