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Look and Live Preparatory School

Lagos, Nigeria


Proprietor Paul Ola Temitope standing in the school's small courtyard

A wet and muddy playground/courtyard

Dividers create small "classrooms"

Look and Live Preparatory School is located in the community of Iwaya which is part of greater Makoko in the Mainland district of Lagos. It is located across a narrow river from Makoko. There are approximately 10,000 residents in Iwaya, made up mainly of fishermen, petty traders (hawkers), and government workers. Iwaya is generally a higher income neighborhood that Makoko proper and has better living conditions. While it shares many of the same characteristics such as poor housing made from wooden boards and patched with metal sheets, and poor sanitation with open sewers both concrete and otherwise, it tends to have better quality housing. Here one can find concrete housing blocks and in general a relatively high standard of living while still being a very poor community.

The great majority of students come from Iwaya, with only a small number from outside of the area. Look and Live Preparatory School has been in operation since 1999. The school is comprised of one small building with 9 classrooms that are created by simply arranging dividers throughout the larger room. The small L-shaped class block seems too small to contain nine classrooms, but somehow the cramped but cleverly arranged cubicles manage to fit the relatively large student body. Still, it is hard to imagine all nine classes in session simultaneously, given the large potential for noise interference. There is a tiny but well organized office separate from the classrooms to the left of the building. The building wraps around a small courtyard, offering public space which is rare in Lagos private schools. The school building is surrounded by houses and stands out as it has recently received a fresh coat of paint. The facilities are well maintained.

Look and Live Preparatory School serves 200 children, in grades ranging from nursery through primary (6 th grade). Average class size is 20 students. The proprietor of the school is Paul Ola Temitope: 08055801099 (lookn_live@yahoo.com). There are 12 full time teachers who all either hold teaching certificates or have Secondary School educations. Teachers generally have been at the school for 3 to 4 years and are paid 4,000 to 5,000 naira ($31 to $39) depending upon qualifications and experience. Tuition cost at Shomaa School is 2,500 naira ($19) per child per term. Currently, ten students are receiving free tuition. All families with two or more students qualify for a 20% reduction in school fees. As t he average family income in Iwaya is 6,500 ($50) per month, even the very low tuition cost represents a large portion of the family budget.

There is one pit toilet for the entire school. Wash basins are provided for washing. The proprietor would like to install more toilets when funds are available. The school offers first aid and pays for up to 70% of students' necessary health care costs at a nearby clinic. Mr. Temitope would like to be able to hire an on-site part-time nurse when possible. There is electricity, but it is not reliable and the school has only a faulty back-up generator. Phone lines are not currently installed, but are available. If the electrical problem is resolved and a phone line installed, internet service could be possible. The school has one computer in the office and the proprietor has a friend who maintains it.

Mr. Temitope is an intelligent and innovative person who has utilized a very small space in a creative way to provide his large number of students with the best school facility possible under the circumstances. Mr. Temitope is very pleased that Look and Live Preparatory School is a candidate for the Singer-Kids4Kids program. Any assistance that could be provided to this school would have a large impact in the lives of the students.

 

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