Pupils of Miawani M/A primary school study in deplorable structure

Miawani3 Pupils Miawani M/A Primary School say they encounter reptiles anytime they come to school

Wed, 9 Jun 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Correspondence from Eastern Region

Pupils at Miawani M/A Primary School in the Suhum Municipality of the Eastern Region have been learning inside a deplorable, makeshift bamboo-mud structure which poses danger to their lives and academic activities for many years now.

'Miawani' is an Akan dialect which literally means 'squeeze your eyes' and figuratively means 'endure.'

The deplorable condition under which the pupils learn is discouraging parents from enrolling their children of school going age into the school for fear of endangering their lives.

While some of them stay home, other children are enduring the long distance trekking they do every day to and from school outside the Miawani community.

Teachers posted to Miawani to teach in the deplorable-looking school are compelled to close early against GES stipulated time, especially when the clouds gather and threaten to rain.

The teachers on daily bases commute miles to the school from Suhum due to the lack of teachers’ bungalows in the community.

Some of them do not feel encouraged to teach in the school due to the terrible nature of the school building.

During Ghanaweb’s visit to the Miawani community, the pupils, some of whom were interviewed, said they battle with all kinds of reptiles on their way to school and during school hours, all in their quest to get education.

“I attend school at Miawani M/A Primary. Before we come to school, goats would have come and ease themselves into our classrooms and sometimes snakes come around when we are in school. When it rains, water leaks on us and the sun also scorches on us because of the way the structure of the school building is,” A class three pupil, Juliana Otubea said.

Another pupil, Jennifer Mensah, also recounted that, “It takes us more effort to sweep the classrooms and the compound because animals come to litter a lot here. This makes us tired even before classes start and it affects our learning.”

“We appeal to the government to bring us textbooks so we can learn. We also do not have teachers in the school. The government should come and assist us,” one of the pupils appealed.

Established in 1963 with a 3-unit pavilion classroom structure built from muddy bricks touched with bamboo sticks, Miawani Primary School has never seen any major renovation since then. This has hampered effective teaching and learning.

The school's structure from classes one to three is in tatters with dusty floors and having very outmoded roofing which also exposes teachers and pupils to bad weather conditions and infections.

The nature of the school structure, according to some parents and opinion leaders, is demoralizing teachers posted to the community.

Also, the woefully inadequate teaching and learning materials, including text books, is also a major worry to the teachers and the pupils.

The school has no computer lab and computers for ICT lessons but the pupils are made to write class examinations on the subject.

“This school building was built over 50 years now. It was built by the Unit committee and not by the government. We had a cocoa farm that we hoped to sell and use the proceeds to renovate the building but it was gutted by fire and we had nothing left.

“We only appeal with the government to come to our aid and help complete the school building for us. We are ready to offer free labour. The government should just provide the building materials. Many children from this community trek to farther communities to access school,” an opinion leader, Kofi Bamson, said.

A parent told Ghanaweb that “The government should come to our aid to complete the school block to retain the children in this community. Teachers are not encouraged to stay here because of the nature of the building. Snakes have infested the building and prevented teaching and learning. We are ready to entertain the teachers as a community but because of the lack of good facilities and amenities, they are unhappy staying here.“

Ghanaweb also observed that the issue of COVID-19 and its protocols have been thrown to the dogs as there is basically no effective structure in the school even in a dispensation when schools in the country have been directed to ensure strict adherence of the COVID-19 protocols.

When Ghanaweb's Eastern Regional Correspondent, McAnthony Dagyenga, contacted the Municipal Chief Executive for Suhum, Mrs. Margaret Darko-Darkwah, she acknowledged the challenge in the Miawani community and explained that the community has been earmarked to benefit a classroom block and other development projects.

“We have started from somewhere and it will soon be their turn to have their fair share of projects. But when you go to those communities, advise them to participate in community durbars to lay bare their needs (during needs assessment). A number of times, durbars have been organised in their community but they preferred to go to the farm to participate in the community durbar.

“Recently we constructed their road for them. Did they talk about that? There is a lot we are doing and we shall soon get to them too,” Mrs. Darko-Darkwah said.

Countries in the world have promised to improve the planet and the lives of its citizens by 2030 by committing themselves to life-changing global goals known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

One of such goals (goal 4) calls on nations to ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes by 2030.

Article 28 (1) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, imprints that States Parties should recognise the right of the child to education, and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity.

By all indications, the pupils in Miawani M/A Primary school may be enjoying free education but definitely are not enjoying equal opportunity as their peers in the urban communities.

Perhaps, just as the meaning of ‘Miawani’ suggests, they are enduring the present educational condition with the hope of getting the good education they dream to have one day.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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