Opinions Mon, 12 Apr 2021

Infrastructure development in schools: Pangabu TI Basic School, abandoned and forgotten by the leaders - The pupils' plight

Education is a birth right of the Ghanaian child and the only platform that facilitates its attainment is the school, where adequate infrastructure is available.

This, deductively suggests that, schools that are bedeviled with infrastructural challenges have dire consequences militating against this inherent and must be fulfilled right.

This explains why school infrastructure is a major determiner if not a vital indicator to ensuring conducive, favourable and holistic academic growth of the pupils. It further underscores the need to fairly ensure access, equity and quality in the provision of education.

It is rather unfortunate that, those occupying positions of trust in Ejura/sekyedumase have not been up to task in this regard, as some schools are fragrantly neglected, marginalized and doubly disadvantaged over others on flimsy excuses.

With just a perfunctory look at the various schools in Ejura township, one thing is abundantly clear there is no such school, so badly and poorly structured as Pangabu TI Basic School, yet it doesn't seem to catch the attention of the powers that be, not even the attention of the defacto proprietor, the right Mohammed Yussif Pangabu, whose name the school bears.

In this 21st century, it cannot be denied that, such a poor insufficient structure of the school is not even fit for the rearing of pigs and poultry let alone the purpose of academic work.

To think so, is to be grossly insensitive to the plight of the pupils in that school as their right to quality education cannot be guaranteed in a shambolic structure as this. The least said about the JHS stream, the better because there is no block for them at all. Even though the first batch have completed with some compelling performances.

The story of this long neglected school cannot remain untold because the Ejura-Mempeasem electoral area, where the school is located has contributed greatly to making these leaders who they are or have been in the past and so, it is as inconceivable as it boggles the mind to see their children suffer unjustifiable inequalities in terms of educational infrastructure as a result of perpetual neglect. That, definitely cannot be an expression of their well deserved gratitude from the politicians.

In as much as I agree that all schools cannot develop at the same pace and time, it is not impossible to provide every school with at least something as basic as school structure. After all, with regards to infrastructure, some schools in town have been given too much attention to the neglect of the well deserved. Why must it be so?. The staggering differences is so glaring that it is time we balanced our scale of preference when distributing the resources.

What is even frustrating and disappointing enough is the fact that funds that could be used to construct good schools are rather channelled into the construction of "ataya drinking bases" for the use of area party boys who sit there to discuss and take the most backward unproductive decisions.That amounts to a misappropriation of public funds.

No matter how that is rationalized, it cannot be justified in any way. Yes!, if the "ataya" drinking bases could increase one's electoral fortunes as they want us to believe, then what would the provision of quality educational infrastructure do comparatively?. Your guess is as good as mine.

It is high time our political actors particularly the Municipal Chief Executive rethought and rose above this paradigm of petty political excuses and address the pertinent challenges confronting schools like the Pangabu TI Basic School.

Of course, the Member of Parliament is not exempted but he has in the past given the school a face lift when he provided a three unit classroom block. That notwithstanding, he could have done much better to further mitigate the pupils' plight.

Granted that, the weird and flimsy excuses adduced by the Administrative Head of the Assembly and the incumbent Member of Parliament are anything cogent to go by, what prevents the Right Hon. Mohammed Yussif Pangabu, the former Member of Parliament, whose legacy is at stake from coming to the aid of his own school so to speak in defense of his legacy?

Roofing the three (3) units classroom block that he put up since 2010 for his grandchildren cannot be a waste of his resources. Elsewhere in Ghana and indeed across the globe, schools that bear the names of public figures like him are well endowed with modern day comprehensive infrastructure - superb physical edifices as classrooms with furniture, stocked computer labs, libraries, teaching and learning resources and Montessori equipments just to mention but a few for the teachers' comfort and to effectively drive enrollment for the kindergarten which serves as the life blood of the school.

As long as these challenges persist, teachers will continue to refuse postings to the school, instructional hours during the rains will be at the mercy of the weather, mass withdrawal of pupils from school by the parents as we experienced lately and consequently the school will remain first from the bottom when it comes to academic performance because there is a positive correlation between infrastructure and academic work.

Now, could they all see how the school is heavily challenged in respect of all those needs? I do not for a moment expect Hon. Pangabu to provide the school with all its long catalogue of needs but his best service to the school should be enough because the moral right of ownership goes hand in hand with some moral obligations.

Considering his prestigious position, exposure and network as a former Member of Parliament, I am convinced that, he can address the infrastructural challenges of the school without using his own resources. Indeed, the sorry state of the school remains a wonder, a complete dent on him and it tells volumes of stories about the kind of leadership we have in Ejura/Sekyedumase.

What the public really wants to know is that, which project has he delivered that is serving or would serve and outlive several unborn generations and communicate to them (the posterity) as to who he was, better than this school?. The writings on the wall is so clear that it calls for no explanation.

In a nutshell, the former Member of Parliament, Mohammed Yussif Pangabu is hereby entreated not to abandon and forget his own legacy for a half work done deserves no pay. Like wise, the Assembly member for Ejura-Mempeasem, Hon. Zakaria, and the Municipal Chief Executive, must review their loyalty to end this betrayal of trust with the good electorates of the area.

Giving the Pangabu TI Basic school a monumental face lift is long over due. It takes hard core achievements that have positively impacted the lives of the masses to write your name in the annals of history as far as Ejura/sekyedumase constituency is concerned.
Columnist: Edward Konlan Yennukon
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