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Dining Hall Converted to Classroom in Zango Secondary School
Zango Secondary School located in Kangiwa, Kebbi state has experienced exponential growth in students’ population, a development which has exerted pressure on the existing infrastructure available for students and teachers. On March 19th2018, Tracka organized an advocacy campaign by reaching out to the principal and staff of the school to inform them of the construction of a block of classrooms with furniture; a constituency project initiated by Hon. Husseini Suleiman Kangiwa in the 2017 federal government budget. The school principal, Malam Lawal Ibrahim stated that he is not aware of the project nor the amount allocated for it. The Tracka Project Tracking Officer distributed publications containing the details of the 2017 budgeted constituency projects in Kebbi state during the advocacy campaign. Tracka is a citizen-driven platform which promotes accountability and transparency in governance. Findings in Zango Secondary School, Kangiwa revealed that classes were over crowded as students were seen sitting on the floor since the construction of classroom blocks that are supposed to reduce the impact of over population has been abandoned. “I was told that N10M was not disbursed for the construction of the blocks of classrooms, that is why they are renovating one block of 3 classrooms which is ongoing,” the principal told Tracka’s project tracking officer. Increased enrollment rate in the school has also created challenges in ensuring quality education and satisfactory learning environment. It was shocking to see a class of 200 students sitting on the floor because of the lack of chairs. Also, the school’s dining hall has been converted to a classroom to reduce the population of crowded classrooms. Under these conditions, teaching and learning cannot be sufficient; it therefore did not come as a surprise that the performance of students in the school is below expectation. There is no gainsaying the fact that the child-friendly school concept which UNICEF is advocating for is not comprehensively adopted by the various states in Nigeria. A majority of schools, especially in rural areas, lack water, electricity and toilet facilities. Despite the political commitment to trying to reverse years of neglect in the education sector and a significant increase of the federal funding, investment in primary education in Nigeria is still low compared to other Sub-Saharan countries. This is a call on Hon. Husseni Suleiman Kangiwa to act quickly since the school is said to have been named after his father, “Zango”.