The pupils of Nsakina M/A 3 Basic School at Nsakina, a suburb of Ablekuma in the Ga West Municipality are still having classes under trees due to the lack of inadequate classroom facilities.
A visit by the Ghanaian Times to the school last Monday spotted some students having lessons under a tree.
TheGhanaian Times also observed that more than three pupils occupied a desk in the class during lessons, while others were sitting on plastic chairs and broken tables.
The school with a population of 300 students could only boast of four classrooms for class three to six while the JHS one, two and three had a standard three-classroom block, one staff office, one head teacher’s office and an Information Communication and Technology Centre (ICT).
A source from the school revealed to the Ghanaian Times that the school lack adequate classroom blocks for teaching and learning over a period of time.
According to the source, the lack of classrooms for the school had compelled the school authorities to ‘run shift’ for students, particularly for the Junior High School (JHS) students who take turns to study in one classroom.
“The JHS one classroom is not spacious enough to occupy 68 students for their Basic Design and Technology (BDT) lessons thus half of the students offering Home Economics have to relocate under the tree to be able to have their lesson,” the source said.
The source said the school was also confronted with inadequate desks for learning compelling the school authorities to request for desks, tables and chairs from parents during admission.
“Now under these circumstances parents are being entreated by the school administration to provide desks, tables and chairs for their children when admitted,” the source disclosed.
The source described the situation as very disturbing and affecting teaching and learning.
Mr Kojo Foster, a contractor and a native of the community described the school’s situation as “intolerable” saying, “I have known the school for its overpopulation challenge since 2018 and yet nothing has been done to resolve these challenges.”
“The parents of this community are not happy with what our children are going through because of access to quality education, our kids suffer in this community just to benefit from one,” he added.
Mr Foster, therefore, pleaded with the government to come to the aid of the school.
Madam Diana Dennis Oye Welbeck, the Ghana Education Service (GES) Director for Ga Central Municipal Assembly as well as the Acting Director of the GES for the Ga West Municipal Assembly said the GES would continue to engage the basic schools in an effort to address the infrastructure challenges.
“We would do a follow up on all the schools with infrastructure challenges and particularly that of the students of Nsakina MA 3 Basic School studying under a tree and make sure it would be reported to the appropriate authorities,” she said.
She said the GES offices in all the municipalities in the country had reported schools with infrastructure challenges to the GES for onward transmission to the government for solutions.
“Those who do not have kindergartens (KGs) and those who are running a kind of JHS without adequate infrastructure, we have sent our needs and they are aware thus we are yet to hear from them,” she said, adding “we do this every academic year.”
She told the Ghanaian Times that the vision of the GES to resolve such challenges confronting basic schools in the country could not be achieved alone without the support from the assembly.
“Our Assemblies are supposed to help us out, definitely they are aware of our needs,” she added.
She commended the Ghanaian Times for the story of Nsakina MA 3 Basic School studying under trees and some other reports from Mensah Kurom and Yaw Boame Kurom in the Eastern Region.
“I am not familiar with the schools in the Ga West Municipal Assembly, I just took over, so you have to bear with us, but I am glad you have drawn the GES’ attention over these challenges, we would find out and we would report, education is dear to everybody’s heart,” she lauded the Ghanaian Times.
Attempts by the Ghanaian Times to contact the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for the Ga West Municipality proved futile, but a source at the office of the MCE said the assembly was making efforts to address infrastructure challenges in the municipality.
The source said the assembly would make further assessment of the situation and find solutions, stressing that the assembly was aware of some schools in the Municipality with inadequate furniture and that the MCE had started donating hundreds of desks.
“We have heard some schools have inadequate furniture in our municipality and the MCE has started donating mono desks to such schools, in fact he started around February, now there are extra furniture to be dispatched and he has just informed the Public Relations Officer for the GES office in Amasaman to present the list of schools with such challenges to benefit from the project,” the source said.
“I can say with authority that this year 2,500 desks would be dispatched to the schools with desk issue in the municipality, so as for desk issues the MCE would resolve it as soon as possible.
“So for the furniture issue, if the Nsakina MA 3 Basic School has been captured they would surely benefit,” he added.
FROM EVANGEL KELVIN AINOO, NSAKINA