The Onise of Odo Oro-Ekiti in Ikole local government area of Ekiti State, Oba Babatunde Jemilehin, ALADESODEDERO I, and the Alumni Association of St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School in the community, have made a passionate appeal to the state government for intervention in the renovation of the 68-year old school which had become dilapidated.
While the Oba lamented the unpleasant experience of the pupils under the deplorable learning environment, especially during the raining season, the coordinator of the school’s Alumni Association, Segun Okunoye, expressed the need for the government and other stakeholders in the education sector to save the school from total neglect in the interest of the young pupils.
Speaking in Odo Oro-Ekiti at the weekend during the handing over of a newly renovated block of three classrooms by the alumni to the school management and officials, Oba Jemilehin noted that solid and conducive infrastructure remained one of the yardsticks to measure the standard of education in any society.
While commending the alumni for the timely gesture in renovating the block of classrooms as the pupils prepare to resume for the new academic session, the royal father reiterated the need for the state government to act fast in giving the pupils a befitting and conducive learning environment.
According to him, “The buildings in this primary school have been in very terrible dilapidated forms for a long while. That has been a source of concern to not only the school management, but equally to me as the traditional ruler of the town, and the generality of the Odo Oro-Ekiti indigenes.
“The harrowing experiences the pupils go through to study in such a deplorable condition, and the effects on their psychology as they visit others schools with good structures, cannot be over-emphasised. Their teachers too are not left out in the trauma of teaching pupils drenched whenever it rains.
“It is in the spirit of this understanding that I am making this passionate appeal to the government to come to the aid of our primary school in Odo Oro-Ekiti.”
Okunoye, in a similar vein, explained that the alumni were moved by the pictures and videos of pupils learning under the deplorable structures, and decided to pull resources together in the renovation of the block of three classrooms.
He said there was need for the people to collaborate with the government in improving the standard of education, especially the basic, adding that government should be deliberate in attending to the other blocks for the pupils to be motivated in learning. According to him, “With the limited resources available to us, we set to work, and the complete renovation of the building we are handing over today was completed in August this year, preparatory to the resumption of academic activities for the new session. “We, however, regret to say that of the four buildings that need immediate attention, we could only handle one, while the remaining three are in their dilapidated shapes as we can all see. It is therefore on that note that we want to call on the state government, the State Universal Primary Education Board, and other governmental agencies that are stakeholders in the administration of primary school education, to urgently come and assist in renovating the remaining buildings in this school.” The head teacher of the school, Idowu Adeyemi, commended the alumni for the gesture, which she said would go a long way in ameliorating the suffering of the pupils and staff. The primary school, which was established in 1954, has 240 pupils.