Kaduna’s oldest pupil faces poor motivation
and forearms should be resting comfortably, with elbows bent at a 90 degree angle, on the top of desks. Chairs should allow feet to sit flatly and firmly on the floor with hips, knees, and ankles bent at 90 degrees.”
The teacher said Danjuma might find learning difficult because of lack or the absence of classroom facilities, which were seen as essential in motivating students. He said if a child’s trunk and spine are weak, and he is struggling just to sit up or to sit still, he is using his mental and physical resources in order to comply with the grownups’ demands, and not channeling them into learning his lessons.
There are several things teachers can do in school to help children maintain good posture and alignment, which will support the work of their hands, eyes, ears, and brains for learning such as frequent movement breaks, he added.
Aliyu’s school was overcrowded with almost a hundred pupils per class, causing teacher dissatisfaction.
The headmaster said there were over 1,918 pupils in the school with each class having more than 80 pupils, a number far above its carrying capacity. The teacher-student ratio was not commensurate with the widely accepted standard. “Ideally, each teacher is supposed to handle a class of not more than 40 pupils but here, you teach close to one hundred pupils without adequate teaching materials. It becomes difficult or impossible to produce the expected benefits. In contrast, small class sizes specifically in the lower classes greatly boost pupils’ academic achievements. This appalling teaching condition has been like this for almost ten years now without meaningful improvement but we hope the new government will improve the situation.”
Another teacher who would not want to be named said guardians and parents have to buy books and writing materials for their wards while teachers will use their monies to buy chalk to teach. “We buy chalk with our salaries to teach the pupils. The local government authority recently bought about 140 cartons of school chalk after several complaints and distributed to over 200 primary schools under its jurisdiction. The chalk was not even enough because in some schools it won’t last for a month. My school got only four cartons.”
Again, most of the school buildings were aging and without repairs since inception with their condition becoming dilapidated.