Stakeholders lament as alma mater loses old glory, in parlous state


From Taiwo Oluwadare, Ibadan


In its heyday, Cheshire High School, Oluyole, lbadan, Oyo State, was a leading light not only in Oyo State but in all the South West.

With state-of-the-art teaching facilities, recreational ambience and teaching and non-teaching staff, Cheshire, as it is called, was parents’ first choice.


But today, the contrary is the case. The school has totally lost its glory. It is no longer in prime position in the galaxy of schools.

Apart from the parlous state of its educational facilities, classrooms with leaking roofs, ill-equipped library, the expansive school compound has become so bushy and unkempt that it’s now a playground to dangerous reptiles and pests like snakes and scorpions.

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Investigations revealed that the genesis of the sorry state of Cheshire could be attributed to its classification as an institution for the physically challenged, which was not so ab initio.

According to Ridwan Kareem, president, Cheshire High School Global Alumni, the current state of the school is against the commitment of Governor Seyi Makinde, who, in December 2022, said his administration would continue to improve the standard of education in the state: “A visit to the school showed that the buildings are in bad shape. Most of the classrooms are without windows. The laboratory is an eyesore, while the school premises is bushy and unkempt.”

On efforts made by the alumni to remedy the situation, Kareem said: “In the past, we had paid security staff salaries, equipped the library, built modern toilets, renovated classrooms and equipped the home economics laboratory.

“The government has underfunded the school and has classified it to belong to physically challenged students, which has worked against its progress. The special needs students should be separated from the able students, since the government cannot fund the school and equip it properly.

“Besides, able students below average are admitted along with special needs students. This makes it impossible and a Herculean task for teachers’ efforts to yield good results.”

One of the pioneer students of the school, Mr. Adetunji Lamidi, group head, Financial Inclusion, and vice president, Personal Banking, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), said: “The old students have spent about N50 million to provide facilities and infrastructure in the school. For instance, before we built the toilets, students were going inside the bush to ease themselves. And they were at the risk of scorpion stings and snakebites. We spent N5.5 million to build the toilets.

“We made a series of overtures to the government, at least, to call attention to the deplorable condition of the school. Recently, we had ‘old students’ reunion’ and we invited the Commissioner of Education. We called his attention to the current state of the school. He made promises but till today nothing tangible has been done.”

The school principal, Mrs. Kehinde Oregbesan, said: “We had written letters to the government, took pictures of the damaged buildings and they promised us that they will come to our aid. But we are yet to get response.” 

Established in 1980 by the late Governor Bola Ige, Cheshire was founded and known as Community High School. It was located on a plot of land in front of the old Airport in Samonda, Ibadan.

The school premises was small and un-conducive to learning, hence its relocation to a bigger place on Polytechnic Road, Oluyole. It currently shares premises with Oluyole Cheshire Home, a privately owned boarding school for children with special needs.

When the school relocated during the 1981/82 session, and following a mutual agreement, government took over the large expanse of land owned by Cheshire Home, erected buildings on it and as compensation offered admission to physically challenged students. Years later, the school was renamed Cheshire High School and Mrs. Ebun Akinyemi, now late, became the pioneer principal.