Sunday, September 25, 2011

A school in dire need : Festac Grammar School

When sometime in '97 when I left primary school, hopes were that I would be admitted into one of the unity schools but as fate would have it, I ended up in FESTAC GRAMMAR SCHOOL. At that period when private secondary schools were for the super rich, I settled down hoping to enjoy my stay (which I did anyway).

A school which many people in my hood had attended, I went in with great expectations. Fot those of us who attended private primary schools, coping was not as easy but we still forged ahead. Right from the onset the school was referred to as a poultry just because it lacked modern structures. As at the late 90's, there was no functional library, the school clinic and computer room were under lock and key. We went to school and were called chickens since our school was referred to as a poultry, very annoying but we still persisted and hoped that government will do something before long.

One thing however that worked for the school was the academic excellence. Little wonder in 1998, the school won the "bournvita brain match" contest, this got the school some computers. People attended from as far mile 2, kirikiri town, satellite town, and other parts of Lagos. That was how popular festac grammar school was despite its shabby structure, the academic standard was good.

From the early 2000s however, academic standards starting falling as reflected in the yearly SSCE result of the school. My class for example didn't have a physics teacher for over a session, we didn't have a chemistry teacher for a while too. All through SS1, we had an english teacher who won't come to class but always sends test and exams as and when due. Only the biology teacher made us feel like students, God bless him wherever he is right now.

So we eventually left in 2003 and for years I did not return to the school until earlier this year when an ALUMNI was formed by different sets as one. It spans from the first set(84/85) to the latest set (2011). Holding monthly meetings since April this year, the alumni has waxed on stronger and stronger. One thing that was brought to our notice is that the school is a Lagos state property and so we can't do anything about it in terms of erecting structures. It was interesting and also sad when we discovered that FESTAC GRAMMAR school is the only school in the whole of Amuwo Odofin Local Education District with such "poultry like structure" and without a modern building. According to an ex student, the only 'manageable' building is a one storey donated to the school in the 80s for its academic excellence. Since then the school has been neglected from further development. The senior school benefited from ICT equipments donated by the government but the junior school could not benefit because there was no room and no electricity, it was taken to another school.

The Alumni which I'm a regular member has done little things from the school in our little capacity but more needs to be done because the school has become a shadow of its old self, population has drastically reduced from our days, structures are life threatning and in need of urgent attention by the Lagos state government who is soley responsible for the development of the school as one of its properties. If the state government won't allow "intruders" on its property then it should be bold enough to tackle the problems facing "our" school.

As I conclude, I want to appeal to the ever dependable Lagos state governor to come to the rescue of the school, unconfirmed source claimed the governor has been to the school before. I, on behalf of the FGS ALUMNI appeal to the Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN to save the school from further degradation.