The school at Bormase Siblinor

Lack Funds 2Until funds are released by the government through the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) or help comes from elsewhere, school children in Bormase-Siblinor in the Upper Manya Krobo District of the Eastern Region, will continue to study in an uncompleted building and under trees, at the mercy of the rains.

They may, perhaps, have to revisit their former days of journeying for two hours to the next town, Sekesua, to attend school again.

This is because work on a four-unit GETFund classroom project which started in 2012, and was expected to be completed within 12 months, has come to a standstill as the contractor has abandoned the project due to the lack of funds.

The school children are in competition with snakes, goats and fowls for space in the structure.

Additionally, the children face health risks from animal droppings and the scorching sun, making the environment not conducive for effective and efficient teaching and learning.

The contractor, Mr. Sogbor, confirmed that lack of funds had stalled the project.

He said he started the project with his own resource four years ago, but had not been reimbursed for work  done so far.

Mr. Sogbor said work on the project had progressed and what was left was roofing, plastering, flooring of the classrooms, fixing of windows and doors and painting.

The teachers and pupils have no option than to occupy the uncompleted building for classes which were often disrupted anytime it rained or threatened to rain.

Those who are unable to get space in the uncompleted building are compelled to learn under trees on the compound.

Studying under the trees became the only option since the temporary structures built by a concerned citizen Mrs. Mary Ayongo Agbettor in 2006, with bamboo sticks and mud, had collapsed.

Mrs. Agbettor privately established the school for the community and paid the salaries of teachers from her own resources.

That had greatly helped the school children who previously, had to trek two hours to the nearby school at Sekesua.

The government however took over the school in 2012 and initiated the four unit classroom block and a headmaster’s office with funding from GETFund.

Due to the nature of the structure, parents now prefer their wards to stay at home until they have turned nine and are capable of undertaking the two hour journey to Sekesua.

A parent who shared the community’s frustration to The Ghanaian Times, said “The children are very young, so sometimes it takes them more than two hours to reach school due to the long distance to the nearby village.  Sometimes, when they get exhausted, they rest under trees before continuing their journey. That is why they normally start school at age nine”.

In many urban areas and cities in Ghana, children are sent to school at an early age. This means that by the time they are five or six years, they are already in Class One. The situation seems to be very different in Bormase-Siblinor, a community of predominantly poor peasant farmers.

 

From David Kodjo, Bormase-Siblinor

 

 

 

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