Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Over 70% primary schools in FCT lack access to drinking water

A recent survey by the FCT Administration has shown that over 70percent of the primary schools in the nation’s capital lack access to safe drinking water, with the shortage of classrooms and toilet facilities said to impede against learning in primary and secondary schools.

The research carried out by the Department of Policy Planning Research and Statistics of the FCT Education Secretariat, suggests that the situation is more worrisome in urban areas due to population explosion.

The findings were contained in three publications presented to the public, they are: Community Score Card 2018, Monitoring of Learning Achievement, MLA, 2019 and Annual School Census Statistical Reports 2017/2018 & 2018/2019.

The report revealed that only 26percent of Primary Schools had access to safe drinking water, 44percent in Junior Secondary Schools and 67percent in Senior Secondary Schools; whereas only 27percent of primary Schools, 65percent Junior Secondary Schools and 90percent of Senior Secondary Schools have access to electricity.

In addition, the MLA report shows that learners in private schools showed better performance than their counterparts in public schools. The average performance of learners in public schools was 55.9%, whereas the pupils in private schools scored 66.2%. The male students also showed better performance than girls with an average score of 76.8% as against that of female at 70.8%.

However, as part of the recommendations, there is a call for more toilets to be provided to prevent open defecation as well as need for more training and retraining of teachers to enable them do more, and that government should engage more Public Private Partnership, PPP, to enhance the provision of education facilities.

Reacting to the development, FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, who performed the official presentation of the reports, assured that the FCTA will double its efforts to address the challenges.

Represented by the FCT Permanent Secretary, Olusade Adesola, the minister call on the citizens especially philanthropists to help, building and donating blocks of classrooms.

“When you see the gap between students’ population and the facilities available, it's evident that government alone cannot meet this challenge. So, we want to call on the citizens especially philanthropists to help. Let them come and donate blocks of classrooms to us; Let them go to build schools to immortalise their names.

“Let them come out to support the developmental efforts of government in various communities. When we do this, we will be able to address it. So it's an issue that all of us have a role to play; Government will do its part, and the populace citizens will do their part. And the families too should do their part," he stressed.

Earlier, in his welcome address by the Director Department of Policy Planning Research and Statistics, Dr. Mohammed Sani Ladan, noted that from the reports, it was discovered that there is an increase in number of Public primary schools from 619 in 2017/2018 to 629 in 2018/2019 while Junior Secondary Schools increased from 165 to 169 within the same period.

Ladan, added that there was increase in public schools’ enrolment from 229,035 in 2017/2018 to 236,800 in 2018/2019 for primary, from 143,115 to 143,795 for Junior Secondary School and from 73,664 to 76,213 Senior Secondary.

“As we all know that research, data provision/management and monitoring/evaluation are very vital in advancement of any organization, the need for more of this type of publications cannot be overemphasized.

“Increase in the budgetary allocation and prompt releases of funds to the department will enable us achieve on our statutory mandate,” he stated.

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