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Projects >  Nigeria > State Education Sector Project

State Education Sector Project

In 2008, the World Bank was preparing a new education sector support programme, the State Education Sector Project (SESP) for a number of States in Nigeria.  This project built on experience gained in the implementation of the CUBE Project and one of the main components was to be the construction of facilities for basic education.  A firm of architects based in Abuja had been commissioned by CUBE to prepare designs for single-storey prototype school facilities to be used in all of the project States and I was asked to carry out desk reviews of the designs and to assist the consultants in finalising them.

I spent quite a lot of time over several months reviewing the design drawings and corresponding with the consultants over the details of the designs and my reviews and the issues that were raised can be seen here.

The design and construction of the facilities to be constructed under the project and as finalised were as follows:

  • Floors were of 100mm concrete with mesh reinforcement on either traditional foundations of sandcrete blocks filled with concrete on strip footing or at sites with low-bearing capacity soils, on a raft foundation consisting of an RC slab with RC ground beams.  The raft foundation was to be mainly used in Lagos where the bearing capacity of soils near the sea was very poor.

  • Floors were finished with 20mm thick terrazzo laid on a 30mm thick sand: cement screed. 

  • Superstructure walls were of hollow 230mm sandcrete blocks rendered and painted both sides with steel shutters and doors.  The steel shutters had fixed glazed panels over. 

  • There were RC lintels over shutters and doors and an RC ring beam around the building at the top of the walls. 

  • The roof construction was of steelwork: steel angle rafters over end and cross walls; steel trusses at the centre of classrooms; long-span steel Z-purlins spanning between trusses and rafters supporting aluminium roof sheets and steel pipe veranda columns supporting the ends of the rafters and trusses.

  • Internal ceilings of gypsum panels with a skimmed, painted finish followed the slope of the roof and were fixed to the underside of the purlins.  There were no ceilings or soffits externally.


Detailed drawings of the prototypes can be seen here.

In Kwara State the prototype drawings were modified by a local firm of architects and the roof construction was changed.  The roof construction there was of timber trusses at 1200mm centres (8No per classroom) supporting 75 x 50mm timber purlins at 750mm centres supporting 0.55mm thick aluminium roof sheets with flat ceilings of hollow PVC panels fixed to timber framing fixed under the trusses.  It is not known why these changes were made but possibly they were made in order to reduce costs.

Although no drawings were seen at the prototype stage, some two-storey classroom buildings were constructed at a number of sites.  These were built of reinforced concrete frames with concrete block infill walls, rendered both sides with roof construction of steelwork similar to the single-storey prototypes and steel doors and shutters.

A number of schools constructed under the SESP project were visited during the review carried out under the Education Sector Support Programme (ESSPIN) in 2010 and detailed descriptions and photographs of the schools visited can be seen under that section of the web-site.  Photographs of some of the schools visited are shown in the photo gallery below and it can be seen that the general standard of construction was very poor and the construction of some facilities, particularly the two-storey ones was considered to be positively dangerous for the pupils and teachers a fact that can only be put down to the extremely poor standard of supervision of the supervising consultants.

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