Correspondence from Upper East:
The roofs of two classroom blocks belonging to the Boania D/A Primary and Junior High School (JHS) in the Kassena-Nankana West District have been destroyed by a rainstorm.
The storm, which hit the community some two weeks ago, peeled off the roof of the upper primary block containing classes 4, 5 and 6, and damaged other auxiliary parts such as the Staff Common Room and Storeroom.
The storm also completely ripped off the roof of a mud classroom structure built by the community for use by the Junior High School. Books and other teaching and learning materials have also been partly destroyed in the disaster.
Aside the ripped-off roofs, the two school buildings are in very bad shape. The classroom floors are broken and loose, whereas the walls have been weakened by deep, wide cracks.
The damages have affected academic activities at both the primary and JHS.
Whereas authorities at the primary have temporally merged pupils from the damaged classrooms with those in the remaining ones for the continuation of academic work, teaching and learning activities at the JHS have completed halted.
GhanaWeb’s Senyalah Castro, who has visited the school says the situation has affected attendance as most of the pupils have chosen to stay home due to the unavailability of sitting spaces.
Teachers in the combined classes, he reports, are also having a tough time controlling the few pupils who come to school and that too is slowing academic work.
Head Teacher of the primary school, Rebecca Alugivala, in an interview lamented that the situation has greatly affected teaching as teachers now have to teach one after the other in the combined classes.
She said the combined classes is a development that is not familiar with the pupils and is affecting their understanding of lessons during contact hours.
“It has affected the school so greatly that teaching and learning cannot go on well because some of the pupils have no places to sit [due to the destruction]. So now we have merged the classes to manage for teaching and learning to go on. The pupils too don’t understand the teaching properly because they are different classes put together.”.
She stated that the school has informed the appropriate higher authorities but was yet to receive any help even though members of the District Assembly led by the DCE have visited to assess the extent of damage.
Frederick Wugaa Awuviri, the Assemblyman for the area, who described the situation of the school as dire, revealed that an alternative place at the community’s Catholic church which could have been converted to classrooms for the pupils has also been destroyed by the storm.
He said the community has been left hopeless as both students and pupils continue to roam in the community when they should be in the classrooms.
He mentioned the abandonment of a 3-unit classroom project being undertaken by the Northern Development Authority (NDA) for the school and appealed to authorities to swiftly complete it to address the challenge.
“As for the JHS, we are a bit fortunate that the Northern Development Authority (NDA) came to start a project last year that has been left at roofing level up to date. So, we are appealing to government and any private individual who could help us complete it and put the students back in school.”.
The District Chief Executive, Gerard Ataogye, when contacted confirmed that the attention of the District Assembly has been drawn to the plight of the school.
He said the Assembly has visited the school and a report was being put together to seek help in putting the school back in good shape.
The DCE said the Assembly has observed the dilapidated nature of the school building and there was the need to take time to adequately deal with the challenge instead of hastening to put the roof back on.
He said whilst the Assembly was looking at quickly completing the NDA’s 3-unit classroom project, it was also considering other ways to safely rebuild the older structures for the pupils.