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Sunday, 26 May 2013

SHOCKING: We Live With Snakes In Our Schools – Primary School Pupils In Ogun

Few days before the Children’s Day – the only day particularly set aside to honour children and lay emphasis on their education – Saturday PUNCH set out to seek the experiences of pupils in some schools in some rural areas. Of course, school children in rural areas usually have experiences that are different from their urban counterparts....

The pupils sat haphazardly, each perching where he or she could get a space. Those who could not find a space on benches with their little friends, took up vantage positions on the bare floor as they sang, “A for Apple, B for Ball…”

Then our correspondent learnt about a scary issue -snakes big and small, sometimes drop from the leaking roof, which has no ceiling.

Our correspondent asked a pupil in one of the higher classes about the snakes.

The boy said in Yoruba, “We kill many snakes here all the time. Snakes are normal here. We see them regularly in our classrooms.”

Our correspondent stepped outside the classroom for a moment and observed that truly, the classrooms were tempting abodes for the snakes, which may need a warm place.

The thick and high bush surrounding the classrooms are barely three feet away, an easy reach for any snake that needs a warm bed.

Saturday PUNCH learnt that the head teacher’s office was particularly a tempting abode for some of the snakes, making the poor woman to abandon the office altogether.

“She has stopped staying in the office because of snakes. She sits in the classrooms when she needs to work. Even if the headmistress has a document she needs to take in the office, she is always careful to check the door posts and corners of the office first before she enters, in case snakes are hiding there,” our correspondent was told.

“Bring your cutlasses tomorrow. We need to do some work on this bush,” one of the teachers announced to the pupils of the higher classes.

Read more: Punch

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