General News of Wed, 8 Nov 20174
Free SHS challenges: Klo Agogo students ‘packed like sardines’ in dormitories
As part of an ongoing campaign by Joy News to highlight issues in the implementation of the free SHS programme, the spotlight falls on Klo Agogo Senior High School, where dormitories are overcrowded.
Students are forced to roll out their mattresses on the floor due to unavailable beds.
A bed meant to accommodate one student now squeaks to the weight of two or more students huddling to get a night’s sleep.
The free SHS policy that begun in September this year increased school enrollment in all Senior High Schools across the country, bringing untold difficulties on school administrators due partly to what many analysts say is the result of an inexhaustive planning process.
The school administrators, many of them overwhelmed by the numbers, are currently ensuring the smooth running of the program in spite of the challenges.
Joy News Correspondent, Maxwell Kudekor, traveled to the Klo Agogo in the Yilo Krobo District of the Eastern Region and reports that some students have to defecate in the open because of inadequate toilet facilities in the school.
Enrolment at the Eastern Region secondary school increased by at least 650 this year due to the free SHS programme.
“We are piled like sardines; even the prisoners they are feeling better than us. We are really suffering,” a female student narrates to Maxwell.
The school’s library, according to Maxwell, is currently serving another purpose: a storeroom for kitchen staff.
An uncompleted building on the premises of the school has been converted into a classroom, but students say they are unable to concentrate on lessons because they are easily distracted by animals roaming close to the makeshift classroom.
“Animals are passing there inside our classroom…last time a big pregnant goat died inside the classroom,” a student said.
Maxwell reports that school authorities have declined comment on the infrastructural challenges.