There was outrage Thursday over the inhuman condition pupils of Holy Aruosa Primary school attend classes.
The school is located along Akpakpava road at the city centre where the Holy Aruosa Cathedral (Oba of Bénin church) is located.
What caused the outrage was a video that went viral which showed the pupils being beaten by Wednesday’s rains that lasted several hours.
The roofs were leaking on the children inside the only two ‘functional’ classes in the school.
Some of the pupils as shown in the video were packed to one corner of the class room while their books were on the tables during the rain.
The pupils said the two classrooms were used by all of them from primary one to primary six.
There are no doors to what was supposed to be the head teacher’s office.
A visit to the school on Thursday showed that the pupils have been relocated and there was no teacher on ground to talk to journalists.
Many persons including parents of the pupils were on Thursday seen in the school taking pictures.
Some of the parents said they were not aware that their children were studying in a leaking classroom.
They said they were not told that the school has been shut down and the pupils relocated to Agbado Primary school.
On the social media, the Edo State Government was lambasted for not taking steps to renovate the school and allowing the pupils to remain in such school.
Following the outcry that traced the video, the state government on Thursday ordered closure of all schools with dilapidated structures across the state.
Secretary to the Edo State Government, Barr. Osarodion Ogie, announced the government decision when he paid a visit to the Holy Aruosa Primary school to ensure that the pupils were relocated.
Reacting to the development, Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said the state government had earlier ordered the shutdown of all primary and secondary schools with dilapidated structures across the state to pave way for reconstruction work.
Osagie said pupils and teachers of Holy Aruosa Primary School in Benin City were relocated to nearby Agbado Primary School.
He stated that teachers in Holy Aruosa Primary School ignored the order and went about their activities in dilapidated structures.
According to him, “All such schools, with dilapidated structures have been shut down with immediate effect. Students and pupils in the affected schools are hereby relocated to other schools that will be announced soon.
“The state government has ordered an investigation to ascertain why the initial relocation order of the pupils with their teachers was not enforced.
“One of the allegations being investigated is the suspicion that some teachers, who are refusing to be transferred out of the school, selfishly kept those kids in the school under unsafe condition.
Osagie further explained that schools in the state were categorised into grades after an inventory of facilities and enumeration of primary and secondary schools in the state were carried out.
“After the census, the schools were categorised into three: those in grade A are in good condition; those in B need little intervention and schools in grade C require total renovation.
“It is obvious that Holy Aruosa Primary School and Osula Primary School, among others, fell in the third category and require urgent attention. The worst of them like Holy Aruosa were shut down.
“As is the culture of this administration, groundwork has already begun for this renovation process to commence, as only few months ago bid rounds were held for the rehabilitation of some of these schools.
“The renovation work is expected to cover 1,200 public schools in the state, with the first batch of 230 schools captured in the pilot phase of the exercise.
“The state government will expedite action on the renovation work to ensure that our pupils learn in conducive environment, even as we roll out the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo BEST) programme to some of these schools in coming weeks” Osagie added.