80 schools in Wa West operate under trees

Teachers in the Wa West District are still organising classes under trees in 80 schools, comprising kindergarten, primary and junior high schools.

This is because of the lack of classrooms.

Organising classes under trees does not only affect teaching and learning, but it also exposes the children’s lives to danger, Hajia Fusata Hamidu, the District Director of Education has said.

She said children are not attracted to these schools, while the drop-out rate has also been high.

Hajia Hamidu was responding to Alhaji Amidu Sulemani, the Upper West Regional Minister’s lamentation about falling standards of education in the region, during a working visit to the district to inspect government development projects, and also to interact with workers of the district assembly.

She said the schools were more than 80, but the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Mr. Joseph Yieleh Chireh, had constructed two school blocks with his share of the Common Fund.

She said the MP has also collaborated with the Ghana Education Trust Fund to build three school blocks, to reduce the number from 85 to 80.

The District Director said, even though the assembly was providing teachers’ quarters in some of the schools, teachers were still faced with accommodation challenges,  and appealed to citizens in the area to help provide decent accommodation to the teachers to entice them to stay in the communities.

Mr. Dominic Maalu, the District Director of Agriculture, told Alhaji Sulemani about the high level of malnutrition among children below five years in the region and, attributed the situation to the menace being caused by Fulani herdsmen on food production.

He said the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research and the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute, had developed varieties of cassava and other crops which could help improve the nutritional status of children.

He, however, bemoaned the activities of Fulani herdsmen which affected farmers since their cattle always destroyed their food crops, and put their families in distress.

The Fulani herdsmen and their cattle have destroyed cassava fields and other crops introduced to them, discouraging farmers from venturing into dry season farming.

He said farmers could use the abundant water in the Black Volta and some of the dams and dug-outs in the communities to improve food crop production, to enhance their livelihoods, but due to the activities of the herdsmen and their cattle, such ventures could not be carried out.

Mr. Maalu appealed to the district assembly and other stakeholders to take measures to address the activities of herdsmen and their cattle, to help improve food production to address the nutritional needs of the children.

Alhaji Sulemani urged the public sector workers in the district, to support the District Chief Executive to supervise and monitor pro-poor interventions to address the needs of the underprivileged.

Alhaji Sulemani advised the workers to change their attitude towards work, by avoiding lateness, laziness and waste of working hours, idling or doing private work.

He also appealed to them to accept transfers in good faith without apportioning blame to people, or politicising them because that would not help in the development of the country.


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