Government Day Secondary School, Jibiya, Katsina State is blighted by an air of neglect that is visible from different views of the public school. So irrespective of the angle an onlooker stands, the state of disrepair is evident.
Founded in 1983, a tour of the school located in Dan Marke area, off Chama Park Road, Jibiya by Saturday PUNCH, revealed the lofty dreams of its founders for the school and the community. Despite the glaring rot occasioned by neglect, the blocks of classrooms still have telltale signs of the kind of facilities provided in the school when it was established.
For instance, the school has a staff quarters to encourage the teaching staff have easy access to the school. Though dilapidated with walls thick with grime accumulated over the years, the facility has an examination hall, laboratory, library, computer room, and sports facilities, including a football field.
Some trees dot the landscape of the school, providing shade and offering some semblance of beauty and normality, a stark contrast to the unsightly infrastructure of the school.
Residents of the state now only speak longingly about a time when the Government Day Secondary School was a first choice for many parents and prospective pupils in the area, who wanted quality secondary school education. Considering the state of the school, such dreams are a far cry from the reality that its pupils experience.
The school’s large expanse of land, including the football field, has been converted to unconventional routes by numerous motorists and okada riders (commercial motorcyclists), with some motorists using the field as a makeshift training school where learners can perfect their driving skills. And with the lack of perimeter fences, miscreants also find it easy to wander through the school.
It was however learnt that the school was divided into junior and secondary schools in 2006, with both still occupying the same facility. Further investigation showed that pupils’ population for the schools was close to 12,000, and the overcrowded classrooms as witnessed by our correspondent seemed to confirm that.
Nothing in the school showed that it benefited from the state government’s ‘Restoration Agenda,’ which has education sector as one of its priorities.
Since the classrooms do not have desks and chairs, pupils are forced to sit on bare floor, which makes writing a difficult task for them.
It was also learnt that apart from an uncompleted block of two classrooms built by an unnamed politician as part of his constituency projects, no structure had been added to the school since its establishment.
This has invariably led to overcrowding in classrooms because of the increasing population of pupils. As a result, structures that should serve as school laboratory and library have been converted to classrooms.
Therefore, some classes are merged together as a temporary solution to the problem of inadequate number of classrooms.
Quite sadly too, many of the classrooms have dilapidated due to the activities of vandals who reportedly saunter into the school complex at will, especially at night, to remove doors, windows and other items since the school complex is not fenced.
So, many classrooms are left with fallen roofs or without ceilings, doors and windows. It was further learnt that the school examination hall is now being used for social events rather than for its original purpose because of its current state.
A Senior Secondary School 2 science pupil, Awwal Jamilu, lamented the situation, adding that his parents had hired a private tutor to teach him “after school hours because of the poor learning condition in the school.”
Similarly, Mallam Nasiru Muntari, a parent of one of the pupils of the school, was still nostalgic about the good old days the school once enjoyed.
Pleading with the state government in a telephone interview with our correspondent visited the ministry.
It was however learnt that Governor Aminu Masari’s Special Adviser on Restoration, Sabo Musa, had recently led a delegation to the school and promised that it would be one of the schools to be rehabilitated next by the government.