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Ken Ade Private School

Lagos, Nigeria


The proprietor BSE Ayeseminikan in front of his nursery school. This building housed
all school operations prior the expansion of the primary level to another facility.

A typical Primary School classroom

Nursery and Kindergarten classroom

Ken Ade School is located in Makoko, Lagos, Nigeria. This community is based on the lagoon edge of the city's Mainland district. Makoko is a tightly packed community of 400,000 people, with eight people commonly sharing one room shacks. Its inhabitants are mainly fishermen, petty traders, and artisans.

Makoko is an extremely deprived neighborhood. The school is located on the one main road that has the highest level of development: concrete (open) sewers, water tanks, businesses, and concrete structures. As one moves away from the road, however, the conditions become abysmal, with the ground underfoot often black and spongy as if it comprised of layers of trash and filth, and with makeshift walkways constructed over putrid black waters. Houses are built of decaying wooden planks and corrugated metal sheets, often reaching three stories high and built with highly doubtful construction techniques. As one approaches the lagoon the ground ends and the houses (wooden shacks) are built on stilts over badly polluted water that serves as the community's sewer. These conditions range from bad to worse in each section of Makoko - there are some concrete housing blocks on the more solid pieces of land, and some roads and paths are better than others. The community is nonetheless extremely poor and this is reflected in its general condition and infrastructure.

The majority of the school's students live near the school, but some come from over a mile away. The students have many difficulties with their living conditions which makes their education all the more challenging. Ken Ade School has been in operation since 1990. The school is comprised of 2 buildings (at two separate sites roughly 300 meters from one another) and has 10 classrooms. The first class block is located just off the main road in a closely packed bunch of buildings. There is a small clearing in front of the school (not belonging to the school) that serves as a sort of community space, always filled with children. The school building is concrete and fairly well-maintained, with a rather dark interior with grubby walls and other signs of wear and tear. This building is where the administrative offices are located. These are well-organized and tidy rooms. This building serves the nursery and kindergarten levels and has one large room with classrooms that are separated by wooden dividers that can be shifted around.

The second building is an attractive new concrete structure that was recently constructed on land that was purchased with an "Educare" loan. This building serves the primary level and has small classrooms that are separated by wooden walls. There is a relatively spacious courtyard outside of the school with a small trash heap. The toilet building is well built and is a high quality facility.

Considering how intensively used the first site appears to have been used for the last 16 years it's in fairly good shape and shows signs of regular maintenance. The second site, being newer, is in relatively good shape and also shows signs of proper upkeep. While both sites need some structural improvements and general beautification they have been kept in good working order.

Ken Ade School serves between 160 and 180 children, depending on enrolment, in grades ranging from pre-kindergarten through 6th grade. The average class size is 18 students. The proprietor of the school is Bawo Sewo Elieu (BSE) Ayeseminikan - mobile phone: 08055410929, kenadeprivateschool@yahoo.com. There are 11 full time teachers. The average teacher has "at least some" training as an educator. Teachers generally stay at the school 2 and a half to 3 years and are paid 5,000 naira ($39) a month on average. Tuition cost at Ken Ade School is 2,500 naira ($19) per child per term on average with some paying less and some paying more. A full 25% to 30% of the students are provided free seats based on criteria such as living in single parent households, or having illiterate or very poor parents. If the family sends 3 children the third attends for free. As the average family income in Makoko is only 8,000 naira ($62) a month, families have a very hard time paying for school fees. For this reason fees tend to be based on what a family can afford.

The first school building (nursery and kindergarten) does not have toilets so the students use "public" facilities perched above a nearby open sewer. This building does not have toilets for lack of space; however, the second site (lower and upper primary) has superior sanitation facilities. Water is also provided at both sites so the students can wash. It would be good if the school could have more space in which to install an additional toilet. There is a local nurse based near the facilities. Ill students are sent to her. Additional space could also provide a sick bay for students, as well as a location to keep first aid supplies. The school has electricity, but it is not reliable. It does have generators; however, there is a need for a good additional generator.

There is no internet currently set up, but a number of options are available to establish the service at the school. There are local internet cafes. The school has no computers. It presently lacks the space for a computer lab as all available space is being used for classrooms or administration. A family member of one of the teachers is trained in computer maintenance and repair. There are also many local computer repair services available; therefore, it would be feasible to provide computers to the school for a new computer lab for the students.

Mr. Ayeseminikan is a high-energy individual who has been able to accomplish much with limited resources, but most of all his communitarian, altruistic, and entrepreneurial spirit make his character stand out. Ideally, Ken Ade School would like to be able to expand their facility and acquire a school bus; however, there are many other needs that the school has that require a much lower level of funding, such as new computers at a cost of $200.00 each.

 

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