A visit to Makoko area of Lagos state by the Concerned Parents and Educators (CPE) Initiative revealed the deplorable conditions of a school built on dilapidated wooden structures in the waterlogged area.
The team, led by founder, Mrs Yinka Ogunde were invited by the one of the founders of the school where the children are taught inside wooden structures built on the top of water.
Wheduto Urban January, a 23 years old Beninese, saw the need to help the children in the slum get access to basic education despite the visible constraints. Alongside his two friends, they founded Divine Wisdom Nursery and Primary School in 2019 and have been running the school ever since with very little support.
The son of a firewood seller, Wheduto took the decision with the other individuals to give the less privileged children of all ages of the community free education. After realising that most of the children lacked access to basic education, the group took the decision to help provide a free learning centre for the children voluntarily.
According to him, 70% of the children there are out of school because the parents who are all fishermen are more concerned about catching fishes and going to the market to sell as it was their source of livelihood.
He went on to describe how the students are picked by him with a canoe as early as 7am in the morning and then they are dropped at home at the end of the day. He further stated that only a few students have school uniforms with the others lacking due to the dearth of financial support.
When asked how the school was being funded, he cited his mother, who is a firewood seller as his main support as she gives a part of her income to support her son’s noble cause, alongside a church from one of the denominations in Nigeria.
The school which currently has about 182 students in a wooden structure has only four teachers with two of them getting salaries, while Wheduto and his friends fend for themselves from their own pockets.
An incredible gesture from Wheduto and his friends whose goodwill got the attention of the Concerned Parents and Educators Initiative. Some of the school’s needs that required urgent attention were the canoe to transport the students as the school currently hires the present one used, writing materials and materials for the renovation of the school’s structure.