Access to potable water remains a major challenge for staff and students of Bankoman Senior High School in the Sekyere East District of Ashanti. With the ever-increasing student population of the school, coupled with COVID-19 and the need for all to observe the prevention protocols, being without water is difficult.
The school is without a toilet facility, administration block, dining hall and has inadequate accommodation for staff. Also pressing, is the need for a fence wall, without which the students’ lives are at risk.
Bankoman Senior High school in the Sekyere East District of Ashanti was constructed by chiefs and people of Banko as a community day school in 2006. In 2012, it was absorbed by government into the main public educational system.
With the free SHS, the school now has over 1,200 students. Access to potable water, is almost impossible for students to observe the handwashing protocols, in this era of the coronavirus. This problem with water extends to their personal hygiene and for the school’s kitchen to prepare meals before the day’s lessons begin.
The nearest borehole is about one kilometre away and for this reason, they arrive for their classes late and tired. The School also has no toilet facility and students therefore must defecate in the open.
These came up when a US-based Ghanaian Medical Practitioner, Dr. Jemima Kodua who is from Banko and a team of experts in partnership with the management of Bankoman SHS organized a Youth Empowerment Seminar as a special initiative, targeted at young men and women to dialogue on challenges confronting the students, share best practices and consider how to approach their chosen career courses.
Presentations were on the relevance of education, health and sanitation and entrepreneurship. The students received books, pens and Bibles.
On career choice, a former Minister for Energy and Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Prof Oteng Adjei commended successive governments for implementing human-centered policies such as the National Health Insurance scheme, the Community Health Planning and Services, CHPS concept and Free SHS. He however encouraged the students to have a clear vision and focus on their choice of career.
Dr. Jemima Kodua said the initiative was an opportunity for her to give back to society. She encouraged the students to take their studies seriously irrespective of the current challenges.
An Assistant Headmaster of the school, Mr. Wisdom Komla Agbalevor appealed to government and benevolent organizations to urgently come to the aid of the school.