‘Walking long distances to school leads to learning difficulty’
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.