Who Will Save Ibadan Public Schools Students From Educational Discomfort? By Oluwafemi Agagu



In every aspects of life, comfortability is a very important phenomenon that makes one enjoy the vibes around and gives more intensive enlightenments.

The rapid growth of development in the urban areas has an influence or impact on so many sectors of the environment.

This catalytical and dynamic changes also have an impact to the the local surroundings, including the comfort of school environment.

However, research has shown that, the teaching and learning comfort are very limited, especially at the secondary school level.

Findings have revealed basically that the level of comfort of the teaching and learning environment in some government-owned secondary schools in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, is very shallow.

Michael Kiener <et al.> {2004} said, “one of the basics of education is to advance learning, and therefore “comfortability” plays a big role in that process.”

Comfortability in learning may be defined as the level of ease, solace and comfort, students experience with their classmates, teachers, instructors, subject materials, as well as learning process, tests, practicals and examinations conducts. It  addresses how secure students feel in the classroom.

Using Anwar-ul Islam Grammar School, Eleyele, Ibadan as a miniature, comfortability in learning was assessed during an examination period, where majority of the students had no comfortable seats to write in ease.

The structures of their classrooms equally have a very disorientated outlook. Some of the ceilings do not even look fascinating to be called a  classroom for learning.

Some of the students had to place planks on bare and very dusty floors before they could write their exams, coupled with the fact that they were putting on white coloured uniforms.

Moreover, during learning periods, six students might be sharing just two seats before they could sit down and learn in class. A government owned education outfit for that matter!

Significantly, this awkward discomfort and uneasiness continue to increase across the years for these students, which had been a major cause of failures among the students; since there have been notions that lack of conducive learning environment could be one of the major reasons students fail.

Findings further revealed that some government owned schools in Ibadan have really dwindled in ensuring there is comfortability  and conducive atmosphere of learning for their students.

‘Interestingly’, these students pay some amount of money which they see as being ‘irrational’, because they have the sole belief that their school ought to be run by public funds, hence they should pay nothing or very little.

For instance, findings revealed that these students pay Parents Teacher Association (PTA) levy, which is amounted at three thousand naira. This is being paid every session till they leave secondary school.

Also, they pay Information and Communication Technology fee at the rate of seven hundred and fifty naira, every session (which apparently they are not enjoying), as some of the students said they haven’t even visited any computer lab at all.

It is funny to also know that a government owned school collects ‘Government Levy’ from it’s students. They call this money ‘Owo Ajimobi’, which is amounted at three thousand every session.



Students, who are supposed to be learning also pay the sum of three thousand naira for tax levy.

Other fees they pay include, School fees, Exam fees, Test fees, among others.

Consequently, if students pay these set of monies every session, they should equally enjoy conducive learning atmosphere, just as aids of learning should adequately be in place for them as well.

But in the reality, it is such a shame that our ‘white-coloured-uniformed’ students sit in a classroom with dusts and sands. The students sit on planks and car tires before they can write their examination. How then do we expect our children do well academically in an unconducive, adverse and unsuitable learning environment?

Many decades ago, research had shown that there was a positive relationship between the classroom environment and performance of students, and identifying the determinant for learning environment. (Fraser, 1994)

This showed that, in fact, at the root of it, students’ performance is higher in a conducive environment, whereby they feel safe and positive.

Hence, there is a very positive and profitable relationship between students’ participation and a conducive learning environment, teachers’ support and well-organized classrooms, as well as aided teaching materials for educative culture.




WHAT THEN SHOULD GOVERNMENT DO?

The onus is on the government of Oyo State to seriously straighten up it’s role in providing an enabling environment for teachers and learners, such as building of more and better blocks of classrooms in a quiet and serene environment that’d accommodate students, and also overhaul the dilapidated ones, which have fallen into a state of disrepair and deterioration.

In furtherance, the government should provide more rural infrastructures and amenities that would facilitate learning and make education interesting such as, teaching and learning materials, including registers, computers, diaries, notebooks, desks, chairs, laboratory equipments and the likes.

More so, since financing of public schools is mainly through the government, the government should be solely responsible for constructions of all the physical structures and provision of all curricular materials in the schools.

Unfortunately, findings have revealed that over the years, this responsibility is shifting more and more to the schools, specifically to the parents, due to lack of adequate funds at the ministry of education. 

Parents already bear the burden of school fees, cost of text books, learning materials, uniforms and teaching aids; in addition to contributions towards school’s building funds. 

Although, the Old Students Association, sometimes assist these schools in their bid to provide more infrastructures.

The result, depending on the economic status of the parents, is that different schools vary greatly in the instructional resources and facilities they have. This leads to great disparity in students’ participation and performance, particularly in Mathematics and Science subjects. 

Not only is the learning of the subjects greatly affected, but students’ examination performance have really dwindled over the years.

The government should therefore endeavour to put in more fight, efforts and resources towards developing these schools.

The educational system (especially the primary and secondary level) of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, is suffering from legions of underfunding, and is therefore necessary for the government to design a workable plan towards funding education.



UNESCO recommended 26% of a nation’s or state’s total budget to go to the education sector but since 1991, budgetary allocation to education has never crossed 10%. 

And it is largely believed that, primary and secondary education remain the most critical aspect in an individual’s school life, which in the long run aids in the overall development of a nation.

Hence, Oyo State government should do more in revamping public schools, such as Anwar-ul Islam Grammar School, Eleyele, in Ibadan, in which some parts have really degenerated, because education is seen globally as the hope for the development of the country.

Donation of desks and chairs especially, restructuring the old decaying buildings, as well flooring the dusty and sandy classrooms, would really go a long way in making the students more comfortable in studying and imbibing lessons.

Oyo State government should endeavour to give rapid and formidable attentions to these problems in order not to kill the interests of students in education.

Thank you!
God bless Nigeria!
God bless Oyo State!

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