Delay in repairing schools damaged by rainstorm in Builsa South affecting education

The Classroom Blocks 78 The state of one of the classroom blocks

Tue, 8 Jun 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Correspondence from Upper East

Delay on the part of authorities in the Builsa South District of the Upper East Region to carry out repair works on classroom blocks of three basic schools that were damaged by a rainstorm is negatively impacting teaching and learning in the schools.

Nearly three months after a rainstorm destroyed the roofs of the Wupiensa Primary, Doninga and Bachonsa Junior High Schools, efforts to put the structures back in shape have proven futile.

The situation has compelled authorities of the schools to either move students into temporal structures which are also in bad shape or continue to use the main buildings despite their deplorability so that academic activities can continue uninterrupted.

At the Doninga Junior High School, school authorities have moved the students to an old pavilion that was previously used by the lower primary.

Though the pavilion, to some extent, provides shelter over the heads of both teachers and students, it is unable to fully protect them from the scorching rays of the sun and rains as the structure does not have windows and doors.

The school is forced to close whenever the rains threaten to fall. The classrooms of the pavilion are also not large enough which leaves the students scrambling for space.

When the school closes for the day, domesticated animals such as goats and sheep take advantage of the lack of windows and doors to roam the classrooms. They leave behind their droppings which causes a stench to the discomfort of both teachers and students.

Headmaster of the Doninga Junior High Schools, Godwin Amwagsi, said the situation is seriously affecting effective teaching and learning at his school.

Aside the destruction the rainstorm caused to the stationery of the school, Mr. Amwagsi revealed that the relocation to the temporal structure has increased the walking distance for some of the students who mostly report to school very exhausted and that was affecting tuition and attendance.

“Currently, we are been hosted in one of the old structures of the Doninga primary school while we wait for intervention from the District Assembly and Education directorate. The situation is affecting us very seriously because that old structure does not have windows and doors. So, meaning when it is going to rain, we have to close and go home and lessons will be halted. Also, some of the students come from far places and some walk about 10 to 15 km and now that the school has been moved so it has increased their distance and by the time they get to school, they are even exhausted and it affects their learning,” he said.

He said even though leadership from the District Assembly, the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), the District’s Education Directorate and the Member of Parliament for the area visiting the school after they were informed of about misfortune, support was yet to come from them.

“The MP for the area, Dr. Clement Apaak came and inspected the place and he assured us that something will be done. I also wrote a situational report to the DCE through the education director and I am hoping that they also do something. Also, the district NADMO coordinator came and did some inspection and took a report to the district. The district education director herself also came here about three days after the incident and assured us that something will be done about our place so that teaching and learning can go on because it is affecting us seriously,” he added.

“Now the rains are setting in. July and August are the times that there are serious rains and if nothing is done before then teaching and learning will be destructed seriously. Next week, we will be vacating. It is our hope that by the time we resume, our place will be renovated and put in place so that teaching and learning can take place effectively,” Mr. Amwagsi told GhanaWeb correspondent, Senyalah Castro.

Some of the students in an interview spoke about the troubles the situation was giving them.

The Girls’ Prefect of the Doninga JHS, Agonya Abigail enumerated a number of difficulties the relocation was having on the students. She said the classrooms were not large enough to accommodate them and also lamented about the long-distance students have to cover daily to come to school for lessons.

She pleaded with authorities to quickly repair their old block so that they can have peace of mind and a serene environment to study.

Apanzawine Stephen, who did not like the idea of the school always having to end academic activities whenever it is about to rain, said it was affecting their contact hours with teachers. He wants authorities to build an entirely new block for the Doninga JHS.

The situation was not different at the Wupiensa Primary, Bachonsa JHS and Doninga Primary School.

District Chief Executive for the area, Daniel Kwame Gariba, who confirmed the situation at the schools said everything was being done to put the school buildings back in shape.

He said the Assembly was working closely with its engineers and the NADMO to quantify the extent of damage to generate estimates which would assist the Assembly repair the damages.

Mr. Gariba said once that was done the procurement of the needed materials will be done to commence work on repairing all the school buildings so that effective teaching and learning can return.

The DCE who stated his firm commitment to the improvement of education in the district, noted that both teachers and students would go through difficulties in the rainy season if immediate action is not taken to address the challenges at the schools.

“What we want to do is to come out with estimates on how we can put the classroom blocks back to good use for effective teaching and learning. So, the engineers are doing the estimates and once they are through with them, we will have them go through procurement and then we can let someone urgently work on the schools so that effective teaching and learning can take place in those schools,” he said.

He added that “We know we are in the rainy season and if nothing is quickly done about it, it means that when it is raining some of the students will have to go home. Or if they are in the house and it starts to rain, you can be sure that some of them will not go to school because they know the roof under which they sit has been taken off. So, we are on it to ensure that the schools are put back in shape.”

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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