No toilet facility in 7,400 public basic schools – EMIS report

Dr Doris Yaa Dartey

Dr Doris Yaa Dartey

A survey conducted last year by the Education Management Information System (EMIS) of the Ghana Education Service (GES) has revealed that out of 21,438 public basic schools in Ghana, more than 7,400 have no toilet facilities.

This has resulted in a situation where open defecation becomes a norm in the schools, although this is no different in some private schools the survey reveals.

Pupils and students during school hours had to attend nature’s calls in the nearby bush whilst others eased on themselves.

This came to light at a press conference held by the Coalition of   Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) on water and Sanitation in Accra.

About two million children, mr Arhin noted, attend schools without toilet facilities and are compelled to defecate in open space, mostly within the immediate surroundings of their schools.

He said the situation was not limited to public schools alone and that out of 9,064 private basic schools sampled, 1,631 did not have toilet facilities.

“This practice leads to infections such as intestinal worms, diarrhoea, cholera, malnutrition and stunting among school children. A 2014 Ghana Statistical Service report indicates that about 3,600 Ghanaian children die annually through diarrhoea alone,” he said.

He further quoted WaterAid report which also indicated about 95per cent of menstruating girls miss school when there were no clean toilets at their schools.

 

“ In addition to the health threats to school children, teachers and other educational workers, the absence of toilet facilities compels teachers to look on while children learn one of the most shameful and abominable practices (open defecation),” he added.

A member of the National Media Commission and Patron of the Coalition, Dr Doris Yaa Dartey noted that the 2013/2014 EMIS report generated by the GES stated that 69 per cent of both private and public basic schools had access to toilet.

She said data from the source in 2017 indicated an increase by only one per cent in the access to toilet in some public schools.

“If this trend of one percent improvement in five years should continue, it will take Ghana 150 more years for all basic schools to have access to improved toilet facilities”.

“The coalition is therefore, calling on the government to charge Municipal and Districts Assemblies to channel their funds to address the perennial sanitation challenges in the education sector,” she said.

BY BERNARD BENGHAN & DAVID TAKYI 

 

 

 

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