Sokoto School Where 1100 Pupils Sit on the Floor

By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna

Rimawa Community is local at Northern part of Sokoto State, about 90 kilometres away from the Capital City, and about 20 kilometres from Goronyo Dam, in Goronyo Local Government Area.
The community has three government Primary Schools, with our focused school, New Rimawa Model Primary School, being the biggest in terms of landscape, structures and population, where 11 surrounding communities registers their children.

Students of New Rimawa Model Primary School, Goronye LGA, Sokoto State, receiving lectures on bare floor

Established on 1970, the school has a total number of students population of 1100, with boys numbering 575, while girls are 525 from primary 1to 6, being taught by 10 teachers plus the head teacher.
When the team of Center for Media Advocacy for Mother and Child also known as CAMAC visited the school, they discovered that every child in the school sits on the floor as there were no single chair or desk in the classrooms.
Though, the school was said to have produced a lots of prominent people in Sokoto state, the school environment looks more like a case of forgetting where they came from.
For instance, the current permanent secretary of Water Resources in the state, passed through the school, even the current Local Government Chairman of Goronye was also a student of the school.
Interestingly, none of them seems to be bringing back to the community, especially the school, looking at the deplorable nature of the school. One would have thought that a man who has grow from a community school like this to become an LG Chairman would have giving priority to the school by providing furniture for children who are eager to learn.
Another area the school requires attention is on teacher’s capacity, the has 10 teachers and the head teacher. Only four of them were said to have a minimum qualification for teaching, while the other six are there with less qualification.
Head Teacher, Yusuf Abubakar, while responding to journalists, said, the school is in dare need of furniture and other learning materials. He called on all well meaning individuals and organizations and donors agency to help the school as children in the communities are willing learn like their counterparts in other parts of the country.
According to him, “UNICEF, has started the work by initiating the Cash Transfer Programme which has increased attendance and enrollment in the school.
“Before the Cash Transfer Programme came, our school had less than 600 students, but after a few months, we already have over 1000 of them. This has brought a serious challenge to us in terms of population.
“We are hoping that this project will be sustained because the children are very interested now in coming to school and this is a symbol of good thing that will happen to the education system in Nigeria if we keep it up.
“Another area we need intervention is teachers capacity, most our teachers need to be retrained, although UNICEF has given us training on leadership, but the teachers really need training to be able to conform with model teaching skills and we equally need more teacher because the population is soaring.”
The UNICEF Cash Transfer Programme is specifically designed to address the poverty-related reasons preventing children to enroll and stay in school giving  families an opportunity to cover direct and opportunity costs  related to their children’s, especially girls education.
The Sokoto State Government which is rated very highly by UNESCO and UNICEF in terms of her commitment to education, which also has the highest budgetary allocation for education in the country, should as a matter of urgency give attention to New Rimawa Model Primary School and it likes, by providing the children with chair and desks.


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