Wretched Classrooms' Block

GSISS Madobi: Inside Kano Community’s School Having Walls Without Roof

By Mukhtar Ya’u Madobi

The Government Senior Islamic Secondary School (GSISS) Madobi in Kano state was established in the year 2003 and currently has a population of over 600 students, with 4 blocks that comprises of staff offices and seven (7) classrooms. But it is only two of the classrooms that can boost of chairs for students.

The all-boys Islamic Secondary School, located in Madobi Local Government Area has no roof, chairs or adequate teaching kits as most of its students sit on the bare floor during lessons.

The School Signage

Findings by Arewa Agenda, reveals that the school has only two permanent teaching staff, besides the principal. It mostly uses teaching practice (TP) students on internship from Colleges of Education, sabbatical teachers from the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and volunteers to cover termly syllabuses.

Residents of the community have lodged several complaints to concerned authorities over the years on the messy condition of the school without any intervention.

When Arewa Agenda visited the school, there were four blocks and a centrally-erect mosque that were all in a wretched and dilapidated condition. In this report, YA’U MUKHTAR, an indigene of the community examines the factors responsible for the predicaments facing the school and the possible ways to remedy the situation.

Background

Over the years, there have been series of public outcry regarding the worsening condition of the school, which includes lack of teachers, instructional materials and desks coupled with worn out and broken buildings.

Cross section of some blocks of classrooms in the school

Worse still, the roof of a complete block that comprises classrooms and staff offices has been entirely blown off.

Past concerted efforts to draw the attention of the authorities to condition of the school and the plights of the students were never attended to.

School Official Reacts

Reacting via a telephone conversation with the reporter, one of volunteer teacher who craved anonymity expressed displeasure over the nonchalant attitude of the government towards the welfare of the school and the students at large.

When asked if the school has ever made efforts at lodging formal complaints with concerned authorities, the official replied saying, “The school has lodged complaints and sent official letters to both relevant authorities at the local and state governments, but without any tangible response”.

A view of students’ and staff toilets

“With regard to the dilapidated classrooms, in extreme weather conditions, hot or cold, under the rain or sun, the students succumbed to sit on the bare floor to take lessons.”

The volunteer teacher decried lack of teaching and instructional materials such as chalk, desk, registers, and record of workbooks as other barriers that hampers smooth learning activities in the school.

During inspection by Arewa Agenda, the toilets in the school are in ruins thereby raising concern over possible infection. The school mosque whose ceiling was colonized by bats has to be improvised to keep the final year students in order to respond to the classrooms shortage in the school, raising concerns on where the fresh students could be accommodated after admission.

Student Cries Out

A final-year student who spoke on the condition of anonymity expressed deep dissatisfaction on the condition which the school has found itself, “the government has not been paying the much needed attention to the school may be because its curricular development was based on Islamic/Arabic teaching,” he quipped

He argued that, most of the schools in the town that based their teaching on western education remains in good shape and quickly receives government intervention whenever the needs arise.

He also concluded by appealing to the government to as a matter of urgency come to their aid by availing their school out of this situation, adding that, education is the only key to success and development of any society.

(a) Students sitting on the floor (b) Internal view of the school mosque

The reporter has further reached out to the apex student union of the local government in order to find out their efforts in saving the school from this worsening condition. In his response, the President of Madobi Local Government Students Association (MALSA), Kabiru Rayyanu, said the amalgamated student body in the areas had cause to seek donations from community members to rehabilitate some of the structure in the school.

“We were able to procure timber for rafter and bundles of zinc sheet to start covering the top of the ruined block. However, the project was short-lived as we are not able to cover significant portion of the work due to a hit by financial constraints,” he said.

He therefore appealed to the able individuals in the community and the government to prioritize education and also join hands in burying this lingering problem completely. He assures that his office will always make students’ welfare its utmost priority.

Community Leaders Speak

A community based union, Madobi Youth Development and Awareness Forum (MYDAF), through its Vice President, Sani Shuaibu Usman, stated that the association has a rudimentary knowledge regarding the current situation of the school and would have loved to jump to the rescue mission but was currently grappling with some constraints.

He assured that the union will remain committed in the struggle for youth and community development while promising to join hands with the concerned community actors to wade into the situation for finding lasting alternative solutions.

Uncompleted project initiated by the students’ union, MALSA

A community leader, Mallam Musbahu Yushau, challenged the state Government to live up to expectation by providing remedy to educational problems in the society. He also called on wealthy individuals in the community to summon courage and donate for the sake of saving education.

Principal Should Report Situation – Commissioner, LG Chairman

Reacting to the issue when contacted via a telephone, the Kano State Commissioner of Education, Sunusi Muhammad Kiru, stated that the school principal should formally write to the ministry of education about the problem and his ministry will look into it.

In his response, the Local Government Chairman, Honorable Muhammad Lawan Yahaya, during a telephone conversation with the reporter, stated that they are trying their best efforts to avail the school out of its predicaments. However, he insisted that the principal tender an official request to his office while pledging to takes the matter up for approval.

Ya’u Mukhtar wrote from Madobi in Kano state. He can be reached via; [email protected], +2348062662147

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