General News Tue, 21 Jan 2020

A private institution’s woes: 1 school, 1 student, 6 teachers

Six national service persons are in a tango with the headmistress of a private senior high school over their reposting to another school after they have found out that the SHS they have been posted to has only one student.

The school, the Dansoman SHS, is owned by Mrs Elizabeth Daniels and offers courses in General Arts and Business only.

The only student of the school, a girl, is in SHS Three and preparing to write the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in April.

Although the six service persons receive their monthly allowances paid them by the National Service Secretariat (NSS), they claim they are unproductive at their current place of posting and fear that can hurt their future job-hunting prospects.

They have thus asked to be released, so that they can be reposted by the NSS.

But the headmistress and owner of the school is reluctant to endorse their release letters.

In a reluctant interview with the Daily Graphic, Mrs Daniels said she had refused to endorse the release letters because she felt she needed the services of the service persons and also some had been playing truant.

Although she blamed the current poor enrollment on the ‘negative’ effect of the free SHS policy introduced by the government, she was nonetheless hopeful that things would turn around and the service persons would be needed.

“I’m not frustrated. I admit that currently there is a challenge, but it is my problem; I will fix it; I will surely fix it,” Mrs Daniel, who tried to ward off questions from the Daily Graphic team, said matter-of-factly.

She, however, prevented the team from interviewing the only student of the school.

While officials of the NSS said the service persons posted to the school were being paid their allowances by the secretariat, just like other service persons posted to educational and health institutions, they admitted that they had very little information about the Dansoman SHS.

The District Education Office could not immediately respond to the concerns raised by the Daily Graphic team.

Dansoman SHS

The school, founded in 1995, is sited in a residential neighbourhood near Dansoman Last Stop.

It is a walled property with a main gate and a smaller gate for people to enter or exit. There are six classrooms, five of which were locked when the team first visited the school in December last year.

On January 13, this year when the team went back, all the classrooms were locked. The uniform is a yellow shirt and blue skirt for females and a pair of shorts for the male.

Three rooms used as the administration and the staff common room are on the same block as the classrooms. There is a big compound, and at the extreme end of the plot of land is a small gate that leads to a house reported to be Mrs Daniels’s residence.

When the team visited the school, there was a handwritten notice of ‘Admission for Forms One and Two in progress’ on a board at the entrance of the school.

On the first visit, the only student, wearing the school’s prescribed Lacoste over a blue skirt, was in one of the classrooms studying by herself.

The service persons

The service persons are made up of five males and a female. The males have been posted to teach ICT, History, Government, Integrated Science and Core Mathematics, while the female teaches Economics and Social Studies. She also doubles as secretary to the headmistress, with one of the males acting as administrator.

The six are concerned about not just spending their meagre resources to travel every day to the school but also their being unproductive.

“I spend GH¢11 on transportation every day to school, but sometimes I do not meet the students

Source: Graphic.com.gh
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