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Poor Facilities Spark Bitter Row At FGC, Ilorin - Education - Nairaland

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Poor Facilities Spark Bitter Row At FGC, Ilorin by official2ak(m): 10:10pm On Nov 10, 2016
The deplorable state of facilities at the Federal Government College (FGC) Ilorin has pitched the old students' association against the school management and the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA). The alumni association is accusing the principal of being incompetent, and the PTA of mismanagement. ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA and NNEKA NWANERI report.
Forty-four-year-old Federal Government College (FGC), Ilorin in Kwara State, is one of the 104 Unity Schools that have produced many prominent Nigerians, including children of former President Shehu Shagari; and his number two man, Dr Alex Ekwueme. However, many of them would not be proud of the present state of their alma mater.
The school gate, painted in national colours, may make a visitor think all is well. However, a few steps into the premises tell a different story. First, the stench that assails the visitor�s nose serves as a precursor for worse scenes to come.
Just beyond the gate, the sports field is spotted on the left � overgrown with weed �-and then building after building in various states of degeneration. Some no longer have roofs, others have gaping holes; while some are uncompleted. Window nets are in shreds and doors no longer in place, leaving the visitor alarmed about security, especially at night.
Flooding has not helped matters, worsening the state of the already- dilapidated buildings. Some buildings have sunk to the extent of being abandoned and now serve as make-shift lavatories for students. Iron rods for the decking of some buildings are now exposed. Weeds scramble for nearly all available space.
Indoors, naked wires of electrical sockets hang out of walls, posing a danger to students. There are telltale signs of leaking pipes which have weakened the walls. The bathrooms are a sorry sight � with water-logged floors that breed spirogyra.
This unpleasant scenario is pitching the FGCI Old Students Association against the PTA as well as the management of the school. The National President of the association, Jummai Ndalugi, is accusing the PTA of mismanagement, and the Principal, Mrs Rita Okpaleke, of sharp practices.
Speaking with The Nation, Ndalugi, who was elected in February, lamented the sorry state of her alma mater and faulted the management for allowing the facilities to degenerate to such a shameful level.
She said the association had been taking stock of the rot and sending pictures to many of their chapters within Nigeria and the Diaspora.
"No water, no light, the students' food is horrible, hostel is in a terrible state, in fact almost everything is in shambles," Ndalugi lamented. Before she assumed duties, Ndalugi said some concerned old students had been sending money to the management to upgrade the facilities, but there was nothing to show for it.
She accused the PTA of converting a classroom block to their office when pupils are crammed in classrooms.
To ensure transparency and avoid project duplication, Ndalugi said the alumni has told Mrs. Okpaleke to stop collecting donations on her own or cajoling old students to pay. She said the association would now be the only channel through which funds would be sourced.
Ndalugi also accused Mrs Okpaleke of compromising standard by allowing burgeoning class population.
She said: "When I visited this place in November last year, the students were 48 in a class. Now, they are about 60. I had to confront her and she said she took the action to assist parents who pleaded with her to assist their wards. "I then demanded from her the handbook or educational guide. Up till now, she has not given me. She runs the school on her own discretion."
She also accused the Principal of misguiding some religious organisations, which, she said, planted a church in the school in the face of many pressing infrastructural challenges.

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