It is called Beli Government Islamiyya Primary School, hazardous houses built with clay where students sit on buckling floors in the name of schooling. The houses were donated to the community for Islamic education by a late philanthropist, Inuwa Beli, but the state government adopted and named the school Beli Government Islamiyya Primary School at Rogo Local Government Area of the state.
For almost 10 years, the school has remained in a pitiable state with the students facing hardship. They sit on the dirty floors for lack of chairs and desks. They have only three teachers who teach Islamic education with little Western education.
When the students get tired of sitting on the floor and scribbling on their notebooks, they stand to stretch, making learning a slog. Their difficulty is worsened by a lack of ventilation into the classrooms which have tiny windows.
The students bemoaned their situation and told the reporter that they had been neglected by the government.
“The school runs two sessions daily from 8am to 11am while the second session holds from 12pm to 2pm,” said a teacher who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the press. “The morning session is for the government school students while the afternoon session is for the islamic teaching session, which is not for the government but for the community.”
As dilapidated as the primary is also the Government Secondary School Beli where the students are exposed to the danger of learning under collapsing roofs and cracked walls.
Majority of the students sit on broken and dirty floors with their white uniform often discolored.
Teachers told the reporter that the school has been left in ruins since the past eight years without any forms of intervention from the government.
The same level of neglect is also prevalent at Government Girls Junior Secondary School Beli where the students sit on floors for lack of chairs and desks.
Some of the community members who spoke to the reporter lamented that their children had faced daunting odds to be educated and wondered why the government had decided to neglect the communities.
They begged the government to come to their aid by providing chairs and desks as well as having school buildings that would not collapse on their children.
This report was produced in partnership with Civic Media Lab under its School Report, an initiative to improve the state of public schools in Nigeria, with support from MacArthur Foundation
SaharaReporters, New York