By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna
Angwan Rimi, is a community in Sabon-Birni, Ward in Lere Local Government Area of Kaduna State, the community is about 19 kilometres from the LGA headquarter, Saminaka, which is less than 25 minutes drive because of the roughness of the road.
The community, which is located along Saminaka/Bauchi road, have over 4000 inhabitants according to one of the community leader, who identified himself as Alhaji Ibrahim Shuaibu.
Angwan Rimi, is one community in recent times, especially in Northern Nigeria where children are eager to go to school, but unfortunately, challenges of classrooms space has denied many of them the opportunity to have the chance to compete with their contemporary both in their community and outside.
The only school in the community, a block of 4 classrooms was built by the people themselves some years ago, after which the state government posted 11 teachers to the school, but only 5 of them survived the recent sack of teachers in the state, as a result of the ongoing education reform.
When Center for Media Advocacy for Mother and Child, otherwise known as CAMAC visited the community, Parents Teachers Association (PTA), chairman of the school, Aminu Muhammad, disclosed that a total of 500 pupils occupies the 4 classrooms on a daily basis during school hours.
“There are over 120 children in our community who comes here on a daily basis to join the school, but we do send them home because there are no more space for them.”
Some of the children, specifically two siblings, a girl and a boy, Shamsiya Yusuf (9 years old) and Abdulrahma Yusuf (7 years old), who has refused to go back home as at the time of the visit spoke on why they prefer to stay outside the school rather than go home and be doing nothing.
According to Abdulrahma, 7yrs “i was told that the classes are filled and I should go home, but I decide to stay outside and listen to how they are reading inside the class.
“I want to be in school so that I can become something in life, i want to be educated and if I go to school I can become something in life. I want to be a Pilot so I can be flying aeroplane.
“I am begging the government to help us build classrooms so that all of us can be entering the school at the same time.”
As for Shamsiya 9yrs, if she have the opportunity to go to school she will be able to fulfill her dream of becoming a health worker.
“I want to be educated by going to school, but my passion is to become a health worker so that I can be saving lives.
But Shamsiya, doubt how that can come through when the teachers kept telling her there is no space in the classroom for her.
She called on the state government to help her and other children in the community to actualise their dreams by providing them with more classrooms and other learning materials.
The PTA chairman further said, “these children are very eager to learn and if you send them back home, they will cry from morning until other children are returning from school. The 5 teachers are even tired of them, because they kept distracting them, and when they come to me to report, we will send people to go and return them to their parents.
“As you can see, we built this school by ourselves, government don’t even know that we are here, until we told them that we have built some classrooms and they now sent in some teachers, but as we speak now, they have been sacked and only 5 of them are left.
“We are appealing to the Kaduna State Government to come to our aid and build us more classrooms so that our children will have the opportunity to learn like the other children in the towns.”