The Ministry of Education will this year begin the rehabilitation of old and dilapidated basic schools that have not seen any renovation or facelift in decades.
The exercise, the sector minister explained, was to ensure that the schools were safe, attractive and conducive for effective teaching and learning.
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum stated this in Kumasi yesterday when he paid a courtesy call on the Metropolitan Chief Executive of Kumasi, Mr Osei Assibey Antwi. The meeting between the two focused on issues relating to the development of education in the Kumasi Metropolis, the country’s second-largest city.
Dr Adutwum mentioned particularly, the Asem Boys and State Boys schools in Kumasi, widely believed to be losing their students to other schools in the metropolis due to the condition of their buildings and lack of other logistics that would facilitate effective teaching and learning.
The minister stated that the rehabilitation exercise, which would commence in two months’ time, would also involve resourcing the schools with appropriate logistics for effective teaching and learning.
Dr Adutwum said, “Plans are also advanced towards the commencement of the construction of state-of-the-art model junior high schools (JHSs) across the country to strengthen schools which were the weakest link in the nation’s education system”.
He said a memo was being prepared to be sent to the Cabinet for a possible discussion and approval for the merging of most JHSs after which the needed infrastructure and resources would be supplied to strengthen education development at that level.
The merging of the JHSs, which would be piloted in selected schools, is expected to make the JHS system much more robust and focused to improve education development in the country. The minister expressed the hope that the schools would attract more students after the rehabilitation exercise.
Dr Adutwum said given the current state of affairs in the cities, the issue of buses to convey students in the urban areas, in particular, would be looked at.
That, he said, could prevent the collapse of certain schools since students would be able to travel easily to any school of their choice in their districts, suburbs and localities.
Mr Assibey Antwi expressed gratitude to the Education Minister for the visit and indicated that education development was the major challenge confronting the people of Kumasi due to the huge population partly influenced by rural-urban migration.
He said due to the congestion in the central part of Kumasi, many residents were moving to the outskirts of the city, leading to overcrowding in schools in such new sites.
He appealed to the minister to assist to decongest the schools.