Linus Oota, Lafia
Students learning in Government Secondary School, Mada Station, Nasarawa Eggon Local Government Area of Nasarawa State may move to nearby communities if they must learn under conducive environment with modern facilities.
The school, built by the defunct Benue-Plateau State Government, was the academic hub of the Eggon and Mada people. Since the state was created in 1996, successive administrations did not give attention to renovate its structures.
In November 2018, the state government pulled down the roofs of 24 classrooms and the administrative block for renovation. But the contractor handling the project has since disappeared and has not returned to site till date.
A visit to the school would show dilapidated buildings where students now learn in ramshackle structures without facilities for effective learning. The school principal also performs official functions under the tree.
Chairman of the Parents Teachers Association (PTA), Danladi Bako, took our correspondent round the dilapidated school structures, pleading with government for quick intervention. Most of the buildings have collapsed. The few ones being used as classrooms are in a very bad state with some blown off roofs and cracked walls close to caving in.
Bako said: “During the rains, teachers and students cannot learn due to the blown off roofs and leakages. They pose a big risk to students in the school. Most portions of the roofs are blown off by wind and there are large cracks on the walls, indicating serious structural damage.
“The entire block of the classrooms has no doors and the blocks of the entrance are crumbling. The state of the school affects the students’ health and ability to assimilate during classes.”
He expressed fear that the population of the school of about 500 students with seven blocks of 24 classrooms may not resume for the next session given the conditions they were subjected to following the removal of the tattered roofs of some of the buildings.
The district head of the community, Alhaji Musa Aliyu, said the school lacked basic education facilities and students learn in a dilapidated building characterised by open roofs, broken walls and floors. He noted that the school has been weakened due to the high exposure to erosion and heavy rainfall. Grasses have taken over the ground of the school, while the roofs have turned brown and almost tattered. Besides, rainfall created an open pond in a section of the building, calling for prompt attention from the state government.
The visibly worried district head said if urgent attention was not given to the school, it might eventually be abandoned. He urged the state government to consider the plight of the students and help bring back the glory of the school:
“Most parents have started withdrawing their children from the school. When it rains, learning comes to an abrupt end due to leakages all over the roofs, the absence of these facilities has adversely affected learning.”
An ex-student of the school, Tanimu Audu, lamented the worrisome state of the school where students continue to learn in a terrible condition and dangerous environment, and called for urgent action.
When contacted, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Abdullahi Agwai, said government would soon resume renovation of the school and appealed for calm.