Ekiti State Commissioner for Information, Rt. Hon. Taiwo Olatunbosun has warned that the ban on the use of public schools premises for parties and other social events is still in force in the State.
Rt. Hon Olatunbosun who gave the warning in Ado Ekiti, described use of public schools for social functions as an attack on the education system, stressing that school environment should always be serene, accommodating, reflective and supportive of knowledge impartation with minimal disruption of its traditional responsibilities.
Noting that teaching and learning require a high level of mental concentration, reflections and balancing, Olatunbosun emphasised the importance of maintaining peaceful atmosphere that supports deep reasoning in school environments.
He reiterated the commitment of Governor Biodun Oyebanji‘s administration to educational development adding that Government has continued to run a policy of free and compulsory education up to senior secondary school level as part of the administration’s Human Capital Development pillar.
The Commissioner said that the State Government is massively building the capacity of teachers in addition to the payment of counterpart funds to enable SUBEB renovate dilapidated infrastructure providing perimeter fencing as well as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities while similar facilities are being provided at the secondary school level through the World Bank assisted Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment, (AGILE) project.
He identified the use of school halls, playfields, classrooms and other school facilities for social events as one of the factors impeding teaching and learning outcomes in public schools.
The Commissioner consequently bemoaned the misuse of the school grounds, with various infractions and desecrations, noting that, amazingly, arrangements for the gatherings sometimes begin during the school hours.
Olatunbosun said that “in most cases, the preparations for the events’ receptions which include the erection of tents/canopies may begin on Thursdays even when the schools are in session. When they occur during the weekends and holidays, buildings and the landscapes in these schools are defaced and infrastructures damaged”.
“The damage can only be imagined as the schools were often thrown into frenzy of avoidable disconcerting guests, causing distraction for the students.
“Even, after the event, the school playfields and the entire environments are littered with empty sachets of water/drinks, broken bottles, and empty plastic containers of water, drinks, decayed food items and other irritating wastes which are left for the pupils to pick and clean up on Mondays. All these are additions to the health hazards arising from the enormous refuse generated during the events”.
”The furniture in the classrooms and windows, were often damaged by these intruders and there have cases of theft, burglary with the school buildings used as hide-out for drug peddling and consumption. The unwholesome practices not only compound the incidences of social vices in the society but regrettably became a bad influence on the children”.
He therefore urged all stakeholders to support government’s efforts at developing the State and improving the lot of the people, particularly in the education sector, stressing that the prohibition of social events in public schools would henceforth be totally enforced.