Emene Community High School, Emene in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State is a one-of-a-kind school, where the teaching-learning experience is near zero, as the school suffers from lack of infrastructure, dearth of teachers, over-crowding, lack of toilet facilities, while the school gate has become a massive refuse dump site.
Chidiebere Mbah, is a 13-year-old Junior Secondary School 2 student of the school, located along Airport-Emene-Eke-Obianagu road by old Abakaliki road, opposite the famous St. Patrick Secondary School, Emene, who is desirous of a prosperous tomorrow, which quality education can give, and this is why he adheres by his father’s admonition to get education by all means; but his dreams may be truncated as a result of the parlous condition of his school.
Without a doubt, his school is probably one of the most, if not the most populated schools in Enugu State, but with limited classrooms, thus making learning an almost impossible task.
In an interview with South East PUNCH, Chidiebere said, “My father told me that he did not go to school because his parents did not know the value of education then. He said they taught him how to farm. He told me, ‘I am sending you to school to acquire education so you will not suffer like me and your mother.’
“Regrettably, I will tell you that since I came to this school, we are packed like sardines with no space for even teachers to teach.”
Lamenting the near suffocation situation students are passing through in the school to learn, Chidiebere, who stays at the back of the class, explained that he had to climb and walk on other students’ lockers to get to his locker, like other students, due to congestion.
The school, he said, has a population of about 2,002 students, but has limited classrooms with about 80 staff.
Corroborating Chidiebere, another student in JSS3, who simply gave his name as Okechukwu, lamented the same clogging in his class and dilapidated toilet facility.
He said, “We don’t have enough classrooms and because of that students are always overcrowded. In my class, we are around 49 students and in that class, two arms are combined. Both JSS 3A and 3B are forced to stay in one class. So in that class, we have around 98 students in a class that is supposed to contain less than 50 students.
“Many students don’t use lockers because they don’t have sitting space. What they do is attach themselves to those students who have space. Often, some students stand up to receive tutorials. There is always noise in classes because students hardly see what teachers write on the board, they hardly hear the teachers because of overcrowded classrooms.
“You can imagine that students climb lockers to get to their seats for those who have space where they keep their lockers because there is no space even to pass. Sometimes some students park their lockers outside and come and share space with those that have space. Some students hang on the windows during classes.”
He appealed to the Enugu State government to come to their aid and build more classrooms to accommodate students and also rehabilitate the school toilet facilities.
He enthused, “That school is the only government or public school around Emene. So, children of the poor are the ones going to Emene Community High School because other schools around are owned by churches and private individuals and are too expensive for our parents. The government should please assist us by providing us with conducive classrooms and other infrastructures for learning.”
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