Among the three basic needs of Human Being on this earth are food, clothing and shelter. If these items are lacking in any Human life, his or her functionality, sustenance and other aspects of life will not be in order, as efforts will be made to achieve these three minimum items of life to survive.
In any society, the Role of Government to help in providing these minimum items of life cannot be overemphasised. People forms Government or as it was in the past civilisation, Kings or Queens were in the place of leadership in such society to oversee the provision of this minimum life sustenance. In the current era of today, the same still holds true in all facet of Human lives. Food is essentially important, so is clothing. The shelter is paramount for every Human Being to protect us from natural elements of sun, rain, wind cold and so much more.
In the Educational setting as we know it today, from elementary, secondary and tertiary levels, a place to sit, read and absorb the imparted knowledge is of a big signiﬁcance to provide quality education for the students of today.
Under the Nigerian experience in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, many educational buildings in our country were beginning to show signs of deterioration and eventual dilapidation, especially in Lagos due to the population explosion. The quality of education took a nose dive in the later part of the 70’s for the worse. School buildings were better known as “chicken coop”.
The environments around the school premises continue to see unprecedented deterioration. Population explosion, lack of planning by the Government, unreliable and unsustainable promises of Free Education at all levels exacerbated all factors that led to the current rot and decay of many school buildings and infrastructures.
The question that begs to be answered is how can we now get reliable and sustainable infrastructures to house our new generations of students to obtain maximum quality education for better tomorrow? How can we rehabilitate our existing structures to be a friendly place of learning for our kids?
What are the needs to construct new infrastructures to accommodate the ever-increasing population of new kids into all levels of educational offerings?
What can other types of supporting infrastructures be built to improve and enhance the quality of education for these children?
The following suggestions can be implemented to improve and maintain existing and new infrastructures to provide a conducive place of learning in our communities throughout the country especially in Lagos where the population is ever increasing. Educational funding from both Public and Private Sources should be available to rehabilitate and rebuild the school’s infrastructures.
A minimum of 5-10 years plan should be embarked upon to bring all schools infrastructures to good repute for learning. The school environment should be designed with other supporting facilities to enhance the quality of education provided like sporting ﬁelds, school gymnasium, science laboratories, vocational and industrial laboratories etc.
The physical environment of the school should be landscaped in a way to prevent any type of ﬂooding during the rainy season by building DRYWELLS at strategic locations across the school premise.
(The school building utilities like light, water and sewage should be maintained through PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP to ensure good and impeccable use with no visible deteriorations and abuse.)
These dry wells will take in excessive surface rainwater into the ground substrate, effectively de-ﬂooding and be keeping the school ground dry after any rainfall. The school building utilities like light, water and sewage should be maintained through PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP to ensure good and impeccable use with no visible deteriorations and abuse.
A minimum of about 40% of the school infrastructures should be maintained through private funds and resources from Private Foundations, Old Boys’ Associations and other revenue generating sources like the use of the school facility by the public.
A 24-hour SECURITY protection should be made available to the schools in preventing vandalism, stealing and any potential abuse of the school properties and infrastructures.
The neighbourhood community around each school should be encouraged to be part of the school community and enjoin them to take ownership of the school with all other stakeholders in caring for the school by reporting any form of abuse or vandalism to the proper authority for prosecution under the extent of the Law.
If the Government can implement these suggestions in cooperation with the community and all stakeholders through PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP, the school infrastructures can be maintained in good standing and be a place where the community will be proud to call their own and show due respect for her maintenance and upkeep.
The school will then be a place to be proud of as the products of the school who are the children and kids of the community will be imparted with a quality education that will make them better and productive citizens of the society in the future.
Respectfully submitted by:
ALLI OSENI (BFHS 75 SET).
(The article was a contribution to the 2012 Alumni Magazine publication.)