Mega School Mega Failure in Ondo State By Ifeoluseyi Ifeoluwapo Ifeyemi

A Mega School in Ondo State
A Mega School in Ondo State

MEGA SCHOOL MEGA FAILURE IN ONDO STATE

A Saga of Ondo state Failed Educational Endeavour


Perhaps the most distinctive description of an object refers to its appearance rather than its purpose or function I cannot say! What I do know however is, nothing defines something specifically than its function which in turn explains the rationale behind the invention of it. In a bid to better illuminate this thought, I'd like to use "man" as an example. Describing man based on his physique is quite simple but on a critical level, it begs for more comprehensive details which surpass man's physical outlook, for the primate family has similar physical traits as a man. The question then is, how do we create a sharp dichotomy between primates and man? Well, functions! Man of all living creatures has a mind of its own which is powered by a brain that can process things in the most amazing ways- like thinking, creating, and solving problems etc. All these super abilities give him dominion over other animals and at the same time strike the chasm between them. In relation to this analogy is a topic in the gathering of popular discuss - "mega school mega failure" in Ondo state. As an educationist with a remarkable qualification, I dare say that "the Idea of mega schools in Ondo state was a failure right from conception before it gave its first cry". My reasons for this rather "raw" statement - mega school mega failure, would be discussed in the course of this article beginning with the meanings of "mega" and "school" coupled with the effects of failure on the two concepts in relation to the national policy on education; basically the goals clearly stated in It.

According to English Cambridge dictionary, mega "means very good or big". In an all-encompassing sense, mega could be regarded as being very large in quantity and quality. School, on the other hand, is an institution designed to provide learning spaces and environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers (sourced from Wikipedia). Combined, mega and school, brings a picture of a very large (in quantity and quality) institution designed to provide learning spaces and environment for the teaching of students. School here talks of spaces and environment the teaching- learning process takes place. Whereas spaces could be locations where schooling takes place, environment refers to the ambience of the locations. That is, a school's location could be in the market where noise is constant (environment), and noise is intolerable for the teaching - learning the process. However, there is other factors that contribute greatly to the teaching - learning process. Some of these factors include the psychological well-being of the learner and his or her accessibility to the place of learning. These factors and many others reflect the failure inherent in the concept of mega schools in Ondo state.

The national policy on education is predicated on the nation's national goals. There are five main educational goals based on the national policy on education. These goals include:


(a) A free and, Democratic society
(b) A just egalitarian society
(c) A united strong and self-reliant nation;
(d) A great and dynamic economy
(e) And a land full of bright opportunities for all citizens.

These goals are further broken down into short term objectives which are easily installed during teaching-learning process. The million dollar question is, what has the national policy on education -specifically, its educational goals, got to do with "mega schools mega failure"?

Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, Mega Schools in Ondo State
Gov Mimiko of Ondo State with pupils in a Mega School
Governor Olusegun Mimiko, after a rather "quick thinking" and perhaps coupled with a not too noticeable way of siphoning funds, came up with the idea of the mega schools. I must without any modicum of deceit, applaud this man for other successful projects he carried out, like the profound "caring heart mega hospital" (A product of caring his heart foundation).The problem with this ingenious idea- mega schools is so enormous and could guillotine the life of the future generation, that I'd like to take it bit by bit from the cores of the national policy on education, specifically the national goals and the obvious flaws of the project so far.

The following are the breakdown of the national policy on education (goals) in relation to how they defeat the purpose of the mega schools or how the mega schools defeat the purpose of the national policy on education.

THE CONFLICT BETWEEN THE NATIONAL POLICY ON EDUCATION AND THE CONCEPT OF MEGA SCHOOLS IN ONDO STATE


(a) A free and democratic society philosophy of the national policy on education when compared with the fact that the citizenry of the state never supported the idea in the first place strikes a critical thought. Acquiring the location for some of these schools wasn't an easy task. A good example of this scenario would be that of the school in Ikare Akoko, which after several months of completion remained unused.

(b) A just egalitarian society. This philosophy contradicts the functionality of the Mega School as only the privileged ones with reasonable proximity to the school and good connections with the authority of the schools would have access to them. You might want to say he has given out buses to school children for free transportation to their various schools. Well, you should try board one of these buses and see how over cramping crushes the morale of these young learners. The concept of mega of schools did not only create a distinction between the common government schools in the capital and remote areas of the state but mock the existence of these normal schools that I wonder how egalitarian our society is indeed. Interestingly, these schools are meant to be proletarian, but no! Most of the poor persons in the society don't really have access to these schools.

(c) A united, strong and self-reliant nation. As against this goal, the Mega School has had enough criticisms from the citizenry of the state for it to groom a united, strong and self-reliant nation. You would agree with me that the progress of the state is for the greater good of the nation at large. Projects like mega schools in a fairly developed state, like Ondo state, don't really end up fulfilling their essence. How can one build a united strong and self-reliant nation when some learners wallow in luxury and others in abject penury- an image of a student in common government schools in contrast with mega schools? The resultant effect is a wide chasm between the two.

(d) A great and dynamic economy. Mega schools were initiated in the preponderance poverty in the state. The problems associated with the common or ordinary schools were left unattended to. Some of these schools boast of dilapidated buildings and open roof classrooms. A teacher that teaches under such conditions, to say the least, will never be productive, hence, jettisoning the idea of a great and dynamic economy.

(e) A land full of bright opportunities for all citizens. This philosophy speaks of people having good job opportunities when well spell out. The conflict with this philosophy and mega school is that only the teachers with long legs would have the privilege of being posted to these schools either as head teachers or teachers.


Mega School Mega Failure in Ondo State

OTHER FACTORS EXPLAINED

The situation surrounding this mega school project is like a picture of someone wearing a new cloth on dirty underwear. My experience while growing up would better define this statement. Growing up, I had a tough time maintaining a particular location. Hence, I changed schools like clothing materials. In the course of my changing school, my parents became financially incapable of affording the fees of private schools and decided to enroll me into a government primary school. The moment this news got to my hearing, I felt my whole world crumbling not because I would lose contact with friends but because I knew the state of things in the government schools. This state of things, included dilapidated structures, poor learning environment, inadequate teaching aids, Old and archaic instructors whose mode of teaching needed complete overhauling. Eventually, when my parents saw for themselves the hell inherent in the school, they opted out. Judging from this experience of mine, anyone would clearly see the flaws perpetual in government schools which up till now still boast of these abnormalities. My question however is, how can one look away from the most common form of schools in their sorry states and dream of building few mega schools to brush off their existence in our memories? Even while most our children rot in the life-threatening conditions of the common government schools. Saying "Rome wasn't built in a day", hardly fits into this scenario. Reason being that, development is an all-around gradual process. For example, you cannot because of your passion for developing your ability to communicate effectively, not minding the fact that you cannot read and write well, go on to apply for a degree in mass communication.





Ifeoluseyi Ifeoluwapo Ifeyemi is a young and prolific writer with lots of depths. He Hails from Yaba, Ondo town, Ondo state Nigeria. A graduate of his state university, with a degree in Social Studies Education. He is currently serving his country as a Corp member (NYSC). He has written lots of poems to his credit, to read some of his works visit his personal blog spot: www.sterlingartarena.blogspot.com

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