LAGOS — Teachers and students in Lagos State public schools are living in fear as hoodlums have taken over the schools, not only posing threats to the security of the students, but also stealing and vandalizing valuable schools’ property.

Though investigations reveal that this is a common occurrence in most schools in the state, most affected are schools in Alimosho, Apapa and Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Education Authorities (LGEAs)

According to investigation, the hoodlums took advantage of the porous security situation in these schools to commit atrocities. Almost on a daily basis, the students are subjected to clearing used condoms, cigarette stubs and Indian hemp wrappers left behind by the hoodlums.

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Giving a graphic detail on their mode of operation, Chairman, School Management Committee of Alimosho LGEA, Pastor Hezekiah Osoba, said once it was 2 pm, the hoodlums would approach either the head-teacher or principal and inform them that they would be taking over the school by 2:30pm.

”By 2pm daily, they would come to the schools and say the school should close the morning session because they would be taking over for the afternoon session by 2:30pm, and the school authorities have no choice than to obey to prevent ugly situations.

”In most cases, they remove school gates from their hinges with a note on the damaged gates that the schools should not bother to fix them because they would still remove them.
”In the morning, the students have to clear cigarettes stubs, empty bottles, sachets of alcoholic drinks and used condoms that litter everywhere. They also defecate in nylon bags and hang them on the ceiling near the black boards such that it will be dropping on the floor and the whole place would be smelling.”

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While calling on the state government to provide better security in the state-owned schools, Education Secretaries of the affected Local Government Education Authorities said the situation has become threatening to the point that it was affecting teaching and learning.

Asked if there are no security personnel provided for the schools, Osoba said: “The local government employed the services of Neighbourhood Watch but they close by 2 pm so we have to make do with old security men who can’t even ensure their safety. We are appealing to the state government to come to our aid by providing us with better equipped and able-bodied security men and arresting these hoodlums to serve as a deterrent to others.”

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