Wa School for the Blind cries for help

Reverend Grace Amoako

Reverend Grace Amoako

The Wa Methodist School for the Blind is at risk of a fire outbreak if the obsolete electrical wiring on the buildings were not replaced with new and modern ones.

Aside the frequent internal power outages experienced by the school, the electrical poles and sockets gave shocks to students and staff when they came into contact with them especially during the rainy season.

Headmistress of the school, Reverend Grace Amoako, told the Ghanaian Times on the sidelines of the 60th anniversary celebration of the school at Wa on Saturday.

Established in 1958, the school which started with 7 pupils had trained a lot of visually-impaired citizens, some of whom had assumed very prominent positions in the country, with specific reference to the former Minister for Chieftaincy under the erstwhile Mahama administration, Dr Henry Seidu Daannaa.

Rev. Amoako said there had been several instances where the school had experienced minor sparks resulting from the old wiring and had called on the Volta River Authority to put in place temporary measures to contain the situation.

“Since 1976 that the buildings were completed and wired, there have not been any efforts at replacing the old wiring system and it is really dangerous looking at the kind of students we have here,” she indicated, citing a minor fire incident that occurred at the assembly hall leaving part of the building burnt in 2012.

Touching on the many challenges facing the school, Rev. Amoako lamented the untarred school road and compound that had been rendered uncomfortable for use by erosion.

“Some of the teachers are visually- impaired and combining them with two hundred and thirteen visually- impaired students, out of which some are children on such a compound, we experience a lot of falling with its advent minor bruises,” the Headmistress explained.

She noted that the lack of school health centre was draining the pockets of teachers as they had to send students to the major hospitals when they were sick and also foot the bills.

“We are really vulnerable because parents come and dump the children on us and we have to foot bills even on sanitary pads for some of the girls,” she lamented.

Rev. Amoako called on stakeholders and the government to attend to the needs of the school as they solely depended on the government grants for sustenance and would not be able to take up all their challenges on their own.

As a former head of the school, the Upper West Regional Minister, Alhaji Alhassan Suleman, said the government would do its best to fix some of the problems to get the school running effectively.

Touching on the theme, “Sixty years of educating the blind: Prospects, challenges and the way forward,” the minister commended the staff for what he described as a yeoman’s job.

Alhaji Suleman called on parents to avoid discriminating against children living with disability and show concern for them, stating that, “parents should see the education of their wards as creating a brighter future for them and support the teachers in that regard, instead of seeing the school as an option for leaving their challenged children.”

Awards were given to deserving students and staff for performing creditably over the years.

LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, WA

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