A trip to Agbon College in Isiokolo, Ethiope East LGA headquarters on Saturday Oct 19, 2013.
The college is located along the popular Ughelli/Ofuoma Road in Isiokolo, Ethiope East LGA of Delta State. It occupies where the defunct Agbon Teachers college used to be, and comprises of Junior Secondary School (JSS) 1-3 and Senior Secondary School (SSS) 1-3.
There exist “four” blocks of buildings in the school. One of the buildings with three classrooms out of the “four blocks” is available for use by the JSS classes. There are JSS 1A & 1B; JSS 2A & 2B as well as JSS 3A & 3B. One classroom is occupied by JSS 1A &1B; JSS 2A &2B as well as JSS 3A & 3B EACH at the SAME TIME inside the building.
The SSS students make use of the dilapidated SCHOOL HALL. The hall is shared into three imaginary classes with no demarcations. With each section just as the JSS classes, occupied by SSS 1A & 1B; SSS 2A & 2B as well as SSS 3A & 3B. How can these students learn in such an environment? The teacher that took us around asked.
According to the teacher, the Government by way of policy, gave directive for teachers not to collect any form of levy from the students (fantastic policy), which the school adheres strictly to. However, because of this directive and for the fact that students must be enrolled into the school, the school authority had no option but to let the new intakes know that they would provide their own chairs and tables for learning. For those that could afford it, all well and good, while those that could not are left to suffer the resultant consequences.
The dilemma of classrooms and learning materials is so BAD that Government couldn’t provide writing board (blackboard) for some of the classes. The school principal had to appeal to the teachers to assist in any way they could as the situation has DEGENERATED to that level. Out of pity and the principals’ appeal, one of the teachers bought two blackboards for the school.
The school teachers themselves are not left out of the infrastructure DECAY, as they use the JSS classroom corridor as staff room. That is where they arrange the few chairs available to sit during school hours. According to one of the teachers, there used to be a staff room which got burnt years ago, and was permanently abandoned with the remains overtaken by grass.
A 2012 batch B NYSC member, AGU JOSEPH who served in the school, painted the EXTERIOR of one of the classroom blocks. He solicited for more support so he could paint the inside as well, but did not succeed.
DESOPADEC embarked on construction of a block of SIX classrooms, apparently to rescue the situation of infrastructural decay, but that project was abandoned in the first quarter of 2012. No sign of work going on there at the time of our visit.
The teacher who took us round was very PASSIONATE in her appeal to the GOVERNMENT of the day led by Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, to please come to the aid of Agbon College, Isiokolo. She also emphasized that these were some of the issues the likes of “Kelvin” and his gang uses as excuse perpetuating their acts, and that the Government shouldn’t give room for such excuses by living up to its responsibility.
On a final note, the teacher mentioned that there exists a Girls secondary school also in Isiokolo, and that the condition of that school is worse than that of Agbon College. Although we couldn’t get to the Girls secondary school, we were made to understand that the school (JSS 1- SSS 3) occupies ONE BLOCK OF CLASSROOM inside the state primary school, situated nearly opposite the LGA secretariat.
These children deserves better than this.
Once again, I call on the Delta State Government, The Commissioner for Education, The House of Assembly member representing that area, as well as the House of Representatives member representing Ethiope Federal constituency to hear the cry of these leaders of tomorrow.