The School of Dispensing Optics, the premier optical training school in West Africa located at Oyoko in the Ashanti Region, has called for support from the government and other stakeholders to aid the construction of lecture halls and student accommodation.
Mr Kofi Boakye, the Principal said, the school which started as a private facility, became state-owned in year 2008 and has since not boasted of its own on-campus hostel as it also grapples with limited space for lectures.
He said the current situation was not only hindering its vision to be become first class international eye-care training/resource centre by scaling up intake, but disrupting lectures and other on-campus activities, since the students were compelled to live in rented houses in surrounding communities.
Speaking at a Students Representative Council (SRC) week celebration held at the school at Oyoko, which coincided with a fundraising activity in aid of an infrastructure development project, underscored the urgent need for more lecture halls to augment its current two 40-seater halls, which was woefully inadequate.
“The cost of commuting in and out of campus, coupled with high rents paid to landlords, is increasing the financial burden of students and this needs to change, to attract more students to opt to be trained,” he added.
Mr Boakye said the construction of a four-storey students’ hostel, with a 600-bed capacity, estimated to cost GH¢ 685,876.00, is what has been envisaged for the students’ hostel, under the project.
For the lecture halls, he said, another four-storey facility 12 lecture rooms with a seating capacity of 70, estimated to cost GH¢ 790,672.00, would be required.
He said the Oyoko Traditional Council had donated 35 acres of land to the school, on which the construction has already commenced and it is at the foundation stage.
‘‘We hope to complete the ground floors of both projects by September, this year, to enable us admit our total target of 300 students,” the Principal said.
He said currently the school’s main source of funding, is the fees and levies charged from students and that the project could only materialise when stakeholders came to their aid.
Mr Paul Nkrumah Takyi, the Ashanti Regional President of the Optician Association of Ghana, and an alumnus, also appealed for support in terms of the provision of state-of-the-art equipment to enhance the quality of tuition and practical work.
He also called for a 10-year-strategic plan to facilitate a better coordination of the alumni and other key stakeholders.
Mr Jonas Adu, Chairman of the Stakeholders’ Association of the school, pledged support to solicit the necessary funding for the infrastructural development venture.
Mr Amoateng Kenneth, the SRC President said it was becoming dicey for students to stay on campus to study during late hour, since some of them had suffered night time robbery attacks, on their way back to the hostels.
Nana Kwasi Oduro, Benkumhene of the Oyoko traditional area commended the leadership of the school for its contribution to the human resource base of the nation, in the area of eye care service delivery, in spite of the numerous challenges confronting the school.