My visit to a public secondary school as a classroom instructor was an experience I would not forget in a while as the experience was largely different from my experience in secondary school which was although private, was located in a “ghetto” but I learnt to speak good English and our classrooms were not overcrowded, so I always thought this same system applied to all other schools until I was transferred to a secondary school for my teaching practice. My experience was totally different.
When I got to this public school which was located in the Ojo area of Lagos, I marveled at how the educational system had deteriorated. On my entry into the school compound, I was transported into a world of noise and heat, and when I was assigned to the junior class which I was supposed to teach for 6 weeks. I got the shock of my life.
The class I was to teach comprised of over 80 students with the classroom not having any windows and having only 20 benches for over 80 students, which meant the others had to seat on the floor while others sat down in wardrobe-looking things.
The class was very stuffy that afternoon and the bodily heat emanating from the class was stifling, I almost choked.
So I simply gave them the scheme of work and left before I fainted because I was reaching that point. The classroom was not in any way conducive for learning, some had to sit on the window ledge to write the scheme of work.
So I proceeded to the staff room to prepare my lesson not for the next day but on arrival at the staff room, there was no difference between the class and the staff room which lacked enough chairs for me and my colleagues who came to the school for teaching practice. Eventually, we had to improvise and instead of finding chairs, we chatted away and we discussed the issue at hand and one of my colleague took me to his own classroom and the sight which I met was really just “wrong” for learning. The class was a large one but not enough to contain the 150 students (precise figure because I counted), while some stood, others jammed themselves like sardines into a small wardrobe meant for books and the remaining sat on the floor. The class was said to be the junior class two and as at the period I visited the class, they were having mathematics lesson, and you could imagine how they would assimilate such a subject under such condition. There was no ventilation, even though there was no window, even the teacher giving the lesson was sweating. In fact an incident happened to a female colleague. She was said to be teaching a particular class in the afternoon , when the bodily heat due to lack of ventilation in the classroom almost choked her , so she decided she could no longer continue and to our utter dismay, the student were reported to have been very happy that she ended the class.
Also it must be noted that the style of teaching in my opinion had become outdated, the lady was teaching without considering if the subjects of her instruction were listening.. That alone could make a class boring and learning difficult. However, our supervisor came( I stated earlier, we were on our teaching practice) to the school to inspect and when she witnessed the environment under which learning was taking place. She said “ even with all the experience I have had, I would not be able to control or even teach this student” So she decided not to grade on our teaching abilities because it would seem unfair and infact impossible to grade any one under such condition but by other means.