Public schools in Abuja continue to be in terrible condition after the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) had expended the sum of N280.529 billion allocation to fund education.
Data from Education Secretariat shows that the FCTA in nine years, from 2007 to 2016 spent the sum of N280.529 billion allocation on education.
Good as it sounds, despite the huge sum that had been expended on education, public schools across the six Area Councils in Abuja are in dire terrible condition that needs urgent intervention to fix them.
For instance, children of the Dobi Ward in Gwagwalada Area Council of Abuja, learn in an uncompleted building, exposing them to hazards while in the school.
Some of the teachers who spoke to MAWA officials disclosed that Dobi is not the only community with terrible schools, they pointed out that many schools in Gwagwalada and Kuje are without classrooms and teachers.
In the same narrative, LEA Primary School located at Alipi community in Gwagwalada Area Council of Abuja is a dire terrible condition.
The kids continue to learn under terrible and harsh conditions with the money claimed to have been expended by the FCTA not having any impact on the community education.
Mr. Ibrahim, one of the teachers in Gwagwalada, while speaking to the MAWA officials, said the Alipi community is not an exception, pointing out that many schools in Gwagwalada and Kuje are without classrooms and teachers with children learning under terrible conditions.
Ibrahim said in some of the communities like Kanzo in the Kuje area council, parents and residents often put monies together to build public schools and hire teachers that are been paid through community contributions.
One of the teachers in a primary school in Kuje who did not want her name known told MAWA Foundation that FCT does not take education seriously, adding that across communities in Abuja, only children of the poor go to public schools while parents who can afford quality education sent their kids to private schools.
In a similar trend, a visit to LEA Primary School, Dutse Alhaji in Bwari Area Council Abuja, about half kilometre from the main road connecting Dutse and Abuja city centre, exposes one to the dilapidated environment the kids learn.
In the school, one is confronted with classrooms with leaking roofs and fallen windows the kids are kept to learn. Apart from the terrible state of the classrooms, the fence that provides security for the school has since collapsed and fallen off.
One of the teachers who spoke to MAWA officials and did not want his identity disclosed, narrated how the school has been in a deplorable condition for a long period with the FCTA administration not showing any interest in fixing it.
The teacher pointed out that apart from the leaking roofs and falling windows, some of the kids have no bench to sit and learn, a development the teacher has since appealed to the FCTA authority to help address.
At the LEA Primary School, Chukulu in Kuje Area Council, teachers are struggling to teach the kids as a result of the huge dilapidated nature of the school. Some of the teachers who spoke to MAWA officials, disclosed, that apart from the deplorable nature of the school, there are no sufficient teaching materials for the kids to learn.
Abaji Model School at the Abaji Area Council presents a worse narrative. A visit to the school exposes one to the worst terrible dilapidated environment kids are allowed to learn. In the school, one gets disturbed by the collapsing walls and fallen roofs that make one scared and wonders how the kids learn under such a threat to their lives.
A look on the floor, one sees a tattered ground with rags littered all over. Although that exposes the kids to a public health risk, it has since become a norm as both the teachers and the kids continually learn in the environment.
A visit to Leleyen Bassa community in the Kwali Council Area Council of Abuja leaves one with tears in the eyes. The primary school in the area has since collapsed with an exact resemblance to a place that is best described as a zoo where animals are kept. Still despite the terrible nature of the school, kids in the community depend on it as their source of formal education.
Community residents who spoke to MAWA officials narrated how their kids over the years had relied on the terrible dilapidated school to learn with the local council authority not showing any interest in fixing the school.
Mr. Anzaku Williams, a community resident, while speaking to MAWA officials, said some of the parents who are afraid the school might collapse, have since withdrawn their kids so they will not get trapped and get killed.
“Some persons in this community who are afraid the school may collapse and kill their kids, have since taken them away, so the walls won’t fall and kill them,” Williams said.
The situation at LEA Pilot Science Primary School Karshi in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) shows a terrible environment that exposes kids to a public health challenge. Apart from the kids not having a decent learning environment, there are no toilets, forcing them to urinate close to their classrooms, leading to a stench odour that oozes into their class while they sit and learn.
It is not, however, clear how the FCTA had in 9 years spent N280.529 billion on education, and, public schools in Abuja are still in terrible conditions.
Some of the teachers and education stakeholders who spoke to MAWA officials accused the Abuja authority of mismanaging the enormous resources allocated to undulation under their care.
“If not corruption, how do you explain that N280.529 billion was spent on education in Abuja in nine years, and all the public schools are in a deplorable state, no, that can only happen in a corrupt system like ours,” Peter Angai said.
Another parent, Mrs. Patricia Onam, who lives in Kuje, described the deplorable state of public schools in Abuja and said it is difficult to believe N280.529 billion was spent on education in 9 years.
“How do you want any reasonable person to believe that N280.529 billion was expended on education in Abuja in the last few years and you still have these kinds of dilapidated schools all over FCT, that is unimaginable,” Onam said.