Queens College Lagos Crisis Gets Senate Attention
The Nigerian Senate has finally waded into the controversies rocking Queens College Lagos.
The Senate on Tuesday called on Federal Ministry of Education to urgently address infrastructure upgrade at Queens College, Lagos, following the death of three young girls due to overpopulation.
Chairman, Committee on Women Affairs, Sen. Binta Masi, made the call in a motion on “The Poor State of Infrastructure in Queens College, Lagos” presented at plenary.
She decried the sorry state of infrastructure in Nigeria’s oldest all-girls unity school, saying that the facilities had deteriorated to the point of endangering the quality of learning and health of the students.
“We are unhappy that for a facility and environment initially constructed for 500 students, the current population is 3, 558 of which 2,800 are boarders. This clearly depicts the imminent calamity waiting to happen.
“Due to the poor living conditions in the school, the college was shut down in February with day facilities opened only for those in examination year on the advice of the Lagos State Ministry of Health,” she said.
According to Masi, the situation at the college was unfortunate and reflects the sad state of Nigeria’s public schools and the terrible fate of children caught up in the depressing state of the academic environment.
Pitiable And Shameful
In his contribution, Sen. Shehu Sani (APC-Kaduna) said it was unfortunate that year-in, year-out billions of naira was budgeted for education which had not yielded the desired result.
“The state of Queens College is pitiable, disgraceful and shameful.
“We must take it very seriously that private schools seem to provide refuge for those that are mighty and powerful.
“But, no matter how we are able to take our children to international schools, the children of the poor are left in unity and public schools controlled by state governments.
“If we cannot provide quality education for the children of the poor, those children of the poor will continue to hunt the children of those in power who have the best of education in this country.
“Until the children of the prominent personalities are in public schools, there can be no way we can get these things over,” he said.
In his remarks, President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, urged the Chairman, Committee on Education (Basic and Primary), to ensure that some of the decisions taken by the lawmakers were considered.
“This is the only way we can truly sympathise with the families of the children and the school. This is to ensure that this does not happen in any unity school.
“The only way we can do that is to ensure that we carry out a thorough investigation and find out what led to the poor state of the college.
“If there are people responsible, then there should be sanctions.
“We should ensure that the chairman of appropriations should provide funding for the repairs of the water and sewage.
“He should also have a comprehensive review of some of the policies to see how we can improve on this,” he said.