The students of Gbaranowei Grammar School, Okolobiri near Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, have expressed anger at the system after having to take their promotion examination while sitting on bare floor because of lack of adequate seats.
Gbaranowei Grammar School was established in 1973 as a boarding school for boys and girls and has produced many prominent Nigerians, including the current Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi and Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy, Ayibaina Duba.
However, the condition of the school has deteriorated.
Two dilapidated classroom blocks are without ceilings, seats, doors and windows, so students have to sit on bare floor to write and even take their promotion examination.
When SaharaReporters visited the school on Monday, it was noticed that over 100 students were taking their exams in one of the classrooms with over 20 of them sitting on a bare floor.
It was revealed that the school has lacked adequate seats for some time since most of them were destroyed during the 2012 flooding in the state.
The few seats available were supplied by parents under the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) arrangement.
In one of the classrooms, Senior Secondary School 2B, there were just 11 seats that could accommodate three students each for a class with 79 science students and 35 art students.
The school has a total student population of over 2,000.
One of the students who spoke to the newsmen on condition of anonymity, said, “It is sad that this is how we have to take our examination. It is not convenient for anyone and the government should be ashamed.”
Another student said it was a “shame that it is the condition in which we have found ourselves”.
The staff room was not better with not more than eight tables and chairs.
The majority of the teachers have no option but to stand because furniture is inadequate.
Reacting to the development, the Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy, Ayibaina Duba said the government was aware of the situation and something was being done to address the problem.
Duba disclosed that the Ministry of Education had carried out a NEEDS assessment to determine the challenges facing each school in the state.
He said the challenges observed include lack of adequate school furniture, lack of teachers and dilapidated structures.
He added that the state government had purchased some seats and expressed shock that Gbaranowei Grammar School did not get any.