A few days ago some of my friends in the Art department were complaining about their department. The structure of their department is good but it is due for reconstruction. All the paints have faded and the chairs in the lecture rooms are bad.
Their complaint made me remember our protest while I was in Jss3. It was as if my school had something against our set. When we were in JSS1, things were good, but when we got to JSS2 our class was the worst in terms of construction. The floors of other classes were tiled but ours was concrete, and the concrete wasn't strong. There were holes all over the classes, our chairs won't stand well.
We complained about the classroom, but they gave us fake promises that they will reconstruct it. Till we finished in JSS2 there were no changes in the classroom.
In our third year in Junior secondary school, JSS 3. They said we were too much and we are more than the population capacity of a class. To be honest, then we were truly the post populated class, we were above 50 and the classes aren't big enough to occupy us.
On the first day of resumption in Jss3, we found out that they've built a shade for us behind the school's main building. This new place they built for us wasn't covered by the sides, it was only roofed. As it is located behind the building it is close to the toilet, because the toilets were built behind the building. We endured the bad Smell from the toilet for the first week. The smell was becoming unbearable sewage from the bathroom flowed out into our classroom and added to the smell. When rain falls, we dare not bring out our books. If our books should fall, that is the end of it, the water and the dirty floor will destroy the book.
We couldn't take it any longer. One Monday morning, we decided to voice out and claim our rights, besides it is a private school, not a government-owned school, we pay our school fees.
we started our protest by singing "under the canopy, under the canopy, under the canopy of God......" because the classroom was not different from a canopy/tent used in ceremonies. We all agreed we won't receive any lectures that day if the school management do not find means of providing a better classroom for us. We all packed our books in our bags and kept them behind our backs. The first teacher came into the classroom, we refused to sit down and receive a lecture. She was angry and she went to report us to the principal. The principal came into us angrily and shouted at us to go back to the class before she beats us all, we all refused. By now the protest was becoming hot, as my classmates were applying pressure to their voices. We want a new classroom "we shouted". Other teachers came one after the other with a cane in their hands. They thought we would be afraid, they took one of us and threatened to beat him if we didn't go back to the class, but we weren't moved, we continued shouting "we want a better classroom".
It was at that moment the principal and teachers knew there was nothing they could do to stop our protest. They began to plead with us, we also threatened that after the school closes that day, we would report to the owners of the school. The principal then called me and the class rep and begged us to stop the protest, she said she knew our protest was justifying and promised to find a solution to it.
I and the class rep went back into the classroom and pleaded as the principal asked us to, we convinced them that the principal promised to address the issue. They all agreed and stopped the protest. But still, throughout that day we didn't receive any lecture, the teachers knew we were angry and we wouldn't concentrate in class.
The following week, they merged two classrooms and we moved into our new classroom. Our voices were heard.
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