School Facilities: Maintenance And Effective Utilisation

Maintenance implies activities put in place to keep and restore the physical condition of an item. This means maintenance can connote any work, such as repairs, services, painting, galvanizing, greasing, etc., that is carried out on any component of the facility with a view to keeping or restoring it to optimum working condition. School facilities management is the process of planning to meet the need of the school's physical facilities, constructing the facilities, and maintaining and keeping such facilities always in good condition so that they can be put into operation when required for teaching and learning. This implies the application of theory, principles, and practices of management to ensure that all the available physical facilities in the school system are available in required numbers and properly maintained against destruction or dilapidation.

Factors Affecting Effective Utilisation and maintenance of School Facilities

Several problems have been identified as militating against the effective utilization and maintenance of school facilities.

Financial Constraints: Essential equipment and structure needed by the secondary schools are not there simply because of the financial constraint. 

Misuse of School Physical Facilities: Several scholars have reported the school personnel uses the physical facilities the way they like without giving consideration to the efforts initially geared towards erecting such structures and the economic downturn in the country. It is often reflected in the way students and staff use school toilets, classrooms, libraries, and furniture fittings in our secondary schools.

Mismanagement of Maintenance Fund and Materials: According to research, seventy percent of the physical structures' maintenance funds have been siphoned. This is attributed to school leaders who are pocket-oriented rather than result-oriented.

Poor Maintenance Culture: This has been the order of the day. We must have a change of mindset. 

REASONS FOR NEGLECTING SCHOOL FACILITIES MAINTENANCE 

Government Role: Professor Fafunwa had seen some time ago that the government is not likely able to cater to the growing population in the schools in terms of provisions of the school facilities in Nigeria secondary schools, and this has come to reality these days. Hence, the government can only do the little it can afford with the trend of the provision in Nigerian Schools.

Student's Role: Most students in secondary school often treat school facilities carelessly. Hence, the spirit of carefulness and maintenance has to be inculcated in them. 

Societal/Parental Role: The Society and the Parent left all the school facilities maintenance to the government because of free education. Parents refuse to pay any additional cost for facility maintenance or repairs in the school. Society feels it's not their duty to maintain the school, having forgotten that the schools under government care are numerous and it takes time before government subvention goes around all the schools. 

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