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9 photos that describe the state of primary school education in Nigeria

  • Primary education is the foundation of educational pursuits. If the foundation is strong, whatever is built upon will stand the test of time, and if it doesn't, inevitably it will collapse.

    The four cardinal points of education – writing, reading, speaking, and listening – must be acquired before a child is through with primary school. These are not only seen as language skills, but they are also the foundation of literacy. Many strategies have been developed by experts to help parents and teachers walk their students through; for example, reading is one of the skills that receives the most attention.

    Not possessing any of the above signifies that a child's primary education is faulty and if not addressed, may affect the child's lifelong educational pursuit.

    One of the essential factors to be considered in ensuring the solidity of the primary education is creating conducive (physical) learning environment. In fact, it is a very important factor to be considered by parents when trying to choose a new school for their kids.

    The standard of a school’s facility will attract quality teachers and ensure their retention and significantly enhance student learning.

    A research paper, “The Importance of School Facilities in Improving Student Outcomes”, published by Pennsylvania State University buttresses this point in its introduction: “A growing body of research has found that school facilities can have a profound impact on both teacher and student outcomes. With respect to teachers, school facilities affect teacher recruitment, retention, commitment, and effort. With respect to students, school facilities affect health, behavior, engagement, learning, and growth in achievement. Thus, researchers generally conclude that without adequate facilities and resources, it is extremely difficult to serve large numbers of children with complex needs.”

    Akinsolu R. A., in a paper titled “Provision and Management of Facilities in  Nigerian Primary Schools” also asserted that educational curriculum cannot be sound and well operated with poor and poorly managed school facilities which include classroom, laboratories, workshops, libraries, equipment, consumables, electricity, water, visual and audio-visual aids, tables, desks, chairs, playground, storage space, and toilets.

    In the following featured pictures, this piece describes the status of primary school education in Nigeria, focusing mainly on their building facilities.

    The sophisticated schools

    The picture below depicts the sophisticated (international) private schools in Nigeria. Most of these schools are usually found in the cities and charge very high tuition fees that are ‘strictly’ affordable by very few people.

    Children International School, Lekki, Lagos. Photo credit: CIS

     

    Samville Model School, Photo credit: Schoolcompass.com.ng

    The ‘mushroom’ schools

    These are also private schools that are available for the people that can be referred to as middle-class, for want of a better word.

    These schools usually have substandard, unbefitting buildings and are not usually approved by the government due to their substandard facilities.

    However, owners of schools in this category also claim that they don’t register their schools due to high financial demands by the government.

    Parents also reportedly patronise these schools because they cannot afford the exorbitant tuition fees charged by the registered and approved schools (the sophisticated private schools) and are even afraid to send their children to government schools which are also face infrastructural challenges.

     

    A mushroom school in Ijegun area of Lagos State. Photo credit: Chiamaka Jacobs/Guardian.ng

     

    Inside the classroom of a typical 'mushroom' school

    The government/public schools

    The facilities in government primary/secondary schools are nothing to write home about. The classrooms, which are mostly in bad condition, are usually overcrowded.

    A dilapidated Methodist Public Nursery and Primary School, Papa Ajao, Mushin, Lagos State. Photo credit: Eno Abasi Sunday/Guardian.ng

     

    Pupils of St. Phillips Anglican Nursery/Primary School, Lagos, darkening the blackboard.

     

    A primary school building in Enugu State. Photo credit: Exclusive Nigeria

    In fairness, some Nigerian states have started rising to the challenges of infrastructural deficits in the public schools. However, more work need to be done and other state governments have to stand up to the task.

    Pictures below show some new public schools built/renovated by Lagos and Osun state governments.

     

    Kuramo Primary School, Lagos. Photo credit: akinwunmiambode.com

    A public primary school in Osun state. Photo credit. Osun.gov.ng

    Without a doubt, it can be stated that infrastructural facilities, just as human resources and teaching strategies, also play a significant role in teaching and learning quality of an education system.

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