Zorkor SHS students appeal for dormitories

About 700 first year students of the Zorko Senior High School in the Bongo District of the Upper East have been compelled to live outside the premises of the school for lack of accommodation.

The lack of situation on campus has compelled some of them to rent accommodation in town, at their own expense.

Information available to the Ghanaian Times is that, the firm that was awarded the contract to construct classroom blocks, dormitories, dining hall, school administration and staff accommodation under the Ghana Education Trust Fund (the GETFund) abandoned the project midway since 2012.

This came to light when the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the Bongo District, Peter Ayimbisa Ayamga accompanied by the District Director of Education, Mr Nsoh Duncan and the District Engineer, Mr David  Aruk and some key staff of the Assembly undertook a working visit on Monday  to inspect the work of progress of some contractors who are working on  projects meant for the school.

The Director of Education Nsoh Duncan rejected claims by the contractors that they had not been paid and hence they could not complete the projects, stressing that one of the major criteria for awarding contracts is the financial muzzles of contractors.

Speaking to a group of journalists who accompanied the DCE and his team to the school, Seidu Tahiru Anyagri, headmaster of the school, stated that, the school decided to admit the 607 students based on the assurance by the contractors that the dormitories and the dining hall would be completed before the school re-opens for the academic year.

The headmaster  said the contractor, who was awarded  the two-storey building project,  made up of  24-unit classroom blocks  also  promised to complete the project before the school re-opened for the admission of the  free senior high school  students adding that it was based on the promise that the school went ahead to make the admission.

The headmaster stated that students under the Free Senior High School Programme were compelled to rent accommodation at their own cost, and also eat their meals   in the open as a result of the slow pace of the construction of the dining hall structure.

He expressed worry that if the situation was not addressed now it would be difficult to feed the students during the rainy season.

He, therefore, appealed to the DCE to impress upon the contractors to return to the site to complete the projects to make the implementation of the Free Senior High School programme very successful.

In response, the DCE said he was very shocked that after seven years of the award of the contract, the contractors had not completed the project and warned them to return to site to complete the project or else the Assembly would consult the management of the GETFUND to terminate the contract and re-award it to other contractors.

Mr Duncan said the only way to help avert such delay of contracts in the near future was to inform the district assemblies and district directors of education when educational projects were awarded.

He praised the current Ministry  of Education and Director-General of Education for introducing such a  procedure and noted that if such  strategy was put in place earlier on ,  it would have  helped  the assemblies and the district  directorates of education  to effectively monitor and supervise  projects to be well   executed  and completed in time.

From Samuel Akapule, Zorko (UE)

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