‘Walk­ing long dis­tances to school leads to learn­ing dif­fi­culty’

Daily Trust - - EDUCATION - By Abubakar Haruna

Well­be­ing Foun­da­tion Africa has said in­ad­e­quate schools within walk­ing dis­tances in ru­ral ar­eas neg­a­tively af­fect the learn­ing of pupils at ba­sic level.

The group had or­gan­ised a sen­si­ti­sa­tion work­shop for com­mu­ni­ties in Abuja aimed at achiev­ing qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion in pri­mary schools.

Pre­sent­ing his pa­per en­ti­tled ‘Strate­gies for De­mand­ing Qual­ity Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion,’ dur­ing the work­shop, the Hu­man De­vel­op­ment Ini­tia­tives of­fi­cer, Mr. John­son Ibidapo, said that ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion in­volves a whole range of ac­tiv­i­ties aimed at meet­ing ba­sic learn­ing needs of pupils, adding that walk­ing long dis­tances to school may lead to late­ness and learn­ers be­ing ex­cluded from lessons. “Pupils who walk for long dis­tances to schools are likely to en­counter learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties.”

He stated that ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion en­ables pupils to ac­quire ex­pe­ri­ence, wis­dom and the ca­pa­bil­ity to fend for them­selves.

“Some of the ob­sta­cles to achiev­ing qual­ity ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion in the coun­try in­clude in­ad­e­quate fund­ing, teach­ers, phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­tures as well as lack of learn­ing aids and in­struc­tional ma­te­ri­als.

“Other ob­sta­cles were cor­rup­tion and lack of trans­parency in school ad­min­is­tra­tion, high rate of school drop-outs and con­se­quent in­crease in the num­ber of out-of-school chil­dren, ethno-re­li­gious and po­lit­i­cal crises, in­ad­e­quate ac­cess to schools at walk­ing dis­tance among oth­ers,” he said.

The Pro­gramme Man­ager of the group, Dr. Ye­wande Ay­oola, said the ad­vo­cacy work­shop was to en­trench ac­count­abil­ity in schools and en­sure that ev­ery child ob­tained free qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to her, com­mu­nity lead­ers have ma­jor roles to play in achiev­ing qual­ity ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion by mon­i­tor­ing the growth and de­vel­op­ment of schools.

Speak­ing ear­lier, the Area In­spec­tor of Lo­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Au­thor­ity (LEA), Abuja Mu­nic­i­pal Area Coun­cil, Muham­maed Yusuf, said that giv­ing spe­cial treat­ment to teach­ers that are un­der Uni­ver­sal Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Board (UBEB) is the ma­jor chal­lenge fac­ing ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion in the FCT.

“We are work­ing to­gether with them but some­times they re­ceive their salaries ahead of us. They get their al­lowances as and when due but our own salaries are paid be­hind sched­ule. So if this is changed, I think all the prob­lems fac­ing ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion will be solved,” he said.

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