In the area of physical infrastructure, Edo State government under the leadership of His Excellency, Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki as at 2021 had renovated 2,682 classrooms, constructed 204 classrooms, provided 95 water supply/boreholes, constructed 32 fences, provided 76 generator sets, constructed/renovated 1,119 toilets (units). Also 122,152.43 square meters of roofing has been installed and 105,725.00 square meters of floor tiles have been laid. 29,560 pupils/student furniture’s and 696 set of ECCDE furniture’s supplied to public primary and junior secondary schools across Edo State. More classrooms are still being constructed and renovated, more fences are still being constructed in public schools, more boreholes and generator sets being provided for public schools, and more furniture’s are also being supplied to public across Edo state.
Pupils and teachers of public primary schools in Edo State have commended the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration for providing the needed infrastructure, instructional materials, and facilities for schools, noting that the development will further enhance teaching and learning across schools in the state.
In 2020 The Edo State Government approved more funds for the construction and renovation of more schools across the state as part of efforts to ensure a conducive learning environment for students under the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) programme.
In a statement, former Executive Chairperson of the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (EdoSUBEB), Dr. Joan Osa Oviawe, said the board was inviting sealed technical bids from eligible bidders who wish to be pre-qualified for the project. According to her, “Edo State Universal Basic Education Board on behalf of Edo State Government from its approved Budget for the fiscal year is desirous of carrying out construction and renovation of primary schools under the UBEC/SUBEB Projects and it intends to apply part of the Budget for the payment of the contract.
She said “works to be executed under this project would include the construction of Public Primary Schools across the State; Renovation of existing Public Primary School structures across the State.” Oviawe noted that other aspects covered by the project are “Provision of water supply and toilet facilities in Public Primary Schools across the State and Procurement/Supply of Furniture to Public Primary Schools across the State.”
Ofunmwegbe community school is one of the schools that Governor Obaseki led administration is now adopting a holistic approach to schools rehabilitation due to vandalization. Ofunmwegbe community school was vandalized by hoodlums and there are plans to fix it. Most of us will agree a holistic education plays a critical role in any country’s economic success. Four years ago The Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) concluded arrangement with the Edo State Command of the Nigeria Police, to curb vandalism, theft and encroachment on properties of schools under its jurisdiction across the state as the agency commences the roll out of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s reforms for the education sector. Dr. Oviawe said SUBEB was taking necessary action to secure infrastructure as vandalism and theft of infrastructure in schools have become worrisome, noting that a symbiotic relationship with the Police will ensure school properties are better protected.
“The rate at which infrastructure are vandalised and facilities are stolen in public schools was disturbing to government. We are partnering with the police to assist us in tackling the ugly trend,” she said. We want SUBEB to get to a point where we have unfettered access to the police for necessary assistance in times of need in our schools across the state. There is a case of theft which is in court, where a window casing was stolen from one of the schools and sold to a pastor, who now uses it in his private school. We are committed to arresting these cases as we roll out Governor Godwin Obaseki’s education programmes.”
According to her, the partnership with the police include the provision of general safety and security in the schools and to check encroachment into school landed property. The former Commissioner of Police, Mr Kokumo assured the SUBEB boss that the command will pass details of the partnership to the grassroots, where local police units have easy access to schools, urging, “Education secretaries in local government areas across the state should collaborate with other police hierarchies such as Divisional Police Stations and other police posts across the state for better synergy on how to tackle areas of concern in schools.”
The people of Ofunmwegbe popularly called Okada junction in Ovia South West Local Government recently called on the Edo State government to come to their aid and rebuild the only primary and secondary schools in the community which are in dilapidated state.
The school was built by previous administration but not fenced and that has made it possible for hoodlums to also go in there and vandalise the place. As we speak, there are no windows and all the roofs have gone bad. There are no ceilings, no chairs and the children right now sit on the bare floor to learn and because of that, many parents are withdrawing their children from the school.
“The floors are also broken. The whole of the school is in very bad shape. We have a block of six classrooms and another block of five classrooms. We have government teachers there but they are not enough.
As a matter of urgency, Obaseki wants to come to their aid and put the school in order for our children. Obaseki wants to renovate it and erect fence to secure it and stop hoodlums from coming in. The government is able to do this and the community will provide security personnel to guide the schools.
According to the 2015 State of Education in Africa report, ‘Rising enrolment rates have drastically outpaced education funding, resulting in shortages of instructional materials and supplies, poorly stocked libraries and the overuse of school facilities’. It is tempting to heap all blame on the government, but our educational institutions do not exist in isolation. They are a central part of a community. Unfortunately, many parents also have the mistaken view that education is solely the responsibility of the schools and not a joint responsibility of the community.
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