Nigeria: New Report Exposes Infrastructure Decay in Abuja Schools

… as FCTA plans to renovate 100 schools in 100 days

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has said it will roll out a project called “Renovate 100 schools in 100 days” to address the infrastructure deficit in primary schools across the nation’s capital.

The FCTA Mandate Secretary for Education, Sani Elkatuzu, made this known while reacting to a report on the state of basic education in the FCT, released yesterday by a research and advocacy organisation, Hipcity Innovation Centre.

The report had indicated that 15 out of 16 primary schools visited by the community vanguards, who were commissioned by the organisation to identify and report gaps in service delivery system of the FCTA basic education subsector, lacked perimeter fence for security.

It also revealed that all the 16 schools have some part of the building roofs blown off by wind, rendering some of their classrooms unfit for use; adding that many of the schools’ buildings are ramshackle with sagging walls capable of crumbling any day.

All the schools also lacked a functional borehole or pump for water, are grossly unequipped, lack desks and other furniture as well as well-equipped and functional playgrounds for pupils.

Reacting to the report, Elkatuzu confirmed the findings, but explained that budgetary constraints were delaying the planned renovation exercise.

He said, “We are all aware of this and the mandate of the government concerning public schools in the FCT and there is a plan to improve 100 schools in 100 days with plans to solve the issues of infrastructure decay in our schools. We are only waiting for our budgets to be passed before it comes to fruition.”

Elkatuzu also stated that the FCT Administration had directed that school administrators to stop demanding for money from parents, but to channel their needs to the authorities for approval when necessary, as basic education by the government, is totally free in Nigeria.

Earlier, the Executive Director of HipCity Innovation Centre, Mr Bassey Bassey, insisted that the right to quality basic education cannot be overlooked or treated with levity.

He said, “We charge the responsible state actors to speedily renovate and equip these schools with adequate number of classroom desks and other furniture; provide modern toilet facilities, improved water sources such as boreholes and pumps, fans and electricity to power them, as well as, fully equipped playgrounds in all schools regardless of how remote the community is.

“Furthermore, in light of the current security challenges plaguing the FCT, there is urgent need for perimeter fences to be built around schools and other security measures to be put in place to safeguard the lives of pupils in schools in the FCT, which was the reason for the premature closure of the schools in July.”

According to him, the report on the State of Basic Schools in the FCT was funded by the MacArthur Foundation through the Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education, CHRICED, as part advocacy for improved social services in indigenous communities of Abuja.

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