By Mark Smith.
Basic School Education in parts of the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region is experiencing some serious challenges, as teachers and pupils are forced to engage in teaching and learning activities in inhospitable conditions.
The situation, according to students and teachers, greatly affects the performance of students when they are to sit for their first public examination; the Basic Education Certificate Examination, (B.E.C.E).
GBC’s Mark Smith visited the T.I Ahmadiyya Cluster of Schools at Wa and reports that if well-meaning individuals and organisations do not go to the aid of the schools, teachers and students will continue to wallow in the hostile learning environment. There is more in this report.
The T.I Ahmadiyya Cluster of Schools at Wa is located off the Wa – Kumasi Highway. The Cluster of Schools is made up of the T.I Ahmadiyya Primary and JHS ‘A’, T.I Ahmadiyya Primary and JHS ‘B’, T.I Ahmadiyya Girls Primary and the T.I Ahmadiyya Girls JHS. The schools have close to 500 students.
For the most part, the teachers and students hold activities in a darkened classroom which makes reading from the lesson board an arduous task for the students. Teachers are also forced to abandon their lessons when the rains begin, due to leakages in the roof. Also, the noise created by the rains hitting the metal roofing makes it near impossible to communicate effectively. The schools have no designated kitchens or storerooms. This means that cooking utensils are stored in some of the classrooms. Broken-down furniture is a common sight in the classrooms.
In Spite of COVID-19 fears, children have to share tiny desks. Teachers also have to make do with makeshift sheds as Staff Common Rooms.
The Girls Prefect for the T.I Ahmadiyya Primary ‘A’ said she is not unhappy about the situation.
The Head Teacher for the T.I Ahmadiyya Primary ‘A’, Muhammed Arkib expressed worry that because of the many challenges, the school now has to contend with, which is affecting enrolment. He called on well-meaning organisations and individuals, particularly past students, to assist the school.
The many concerns of the schools have however not gone unnoticed.
Ussuya Company Limited, a construction firm based in Accra, heard of the plight of the school and decided to go to the aid of the school.
Representing management of the company, Rafiq Salam said the donation of 200 mono desks worth about ₵40,000 is in line with the Company’s social responsibility. He said aside from the desks, the company is also preparing to hand over teachers’ desks and tables to facilitate teaching and learning.