The pupils and students of Wagadugu Municipal Assembly Basic School in the Nkoranza South Municipality of Bono East Region have been schooling under trees and raffia palm roofed shelters for lack of classroom blocks for that purpose.
The Junior High School (JHS) forms one to three students have been sitting under shelters constructed with straws as roofs on erected wooden poles to provide shade and prevent the scorching effect of the sun rays from hitting them.
The kindergarten one to three and class one to three pupils also sat under makeshift shelters constructed by the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) to learn, and the school normally closed whenever there were signs of rainfall.
The situation is affecting effective teaching and learning and contributing to the drawback of the pupils and students’ academic progress and poor standard of education in the community.
This came to light when the Ghana News Agency (GNA) visited the community on Tuesday to interview some of the students about their challenges and the need for immediate government and other stakeholders’ intervention for the provision of necessary infrastructure and logistics for improved teaching and learning environment.
During an interaction with some of the JHS students, the GNA learned that since its establishment in 2008 there had never been infrastructural development in the school.
Master Alhassan Yilwigme, a form two student, said the school lacked almost every material and the logistic required for teaching and learning, saying there were no writing boards for teachers to write on during lessons, textbooks and even table and chairs for teachers and students.
He said his colleagues in other schools were learning information and communication technology (ICT) which had become important to be taught, saying “our school does not have classroom blocks let alone computers to facilitate the teaching and learning of ICT”.
Another net effect of the situation was very low enrollment figures as compared to the normal Ghana Education Service required a number of enrollments.
An opinion leader, who spoke to the GNA on condition of anonymity, said a three-Unit classroom block started by Mr Emmanuel Agyekum, Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza South has since been abandoned and nobody could tell when the MP would complete it.
Later in an interview with the GNA, Mr Isaac Konneh Amankwah, the Municipal Director of Education, confirmed the school was among those identified as such in the Municipality and efforts were being made by the government to address the situation.
Mr Amankwah said the community was among areas identified with some educational infrastructure challenges, saying about 29 schools were under trees and that had compelled some schools to improvise with temporal structures such as the use of church buildings and community centres as classrooms to enable teaching and learning.
He said the Municipality currently had about 4,000 furniture deficit and the Assembly had promised to provide about 1,000 dual desks while the Ghana Education Trust Fund had also provided about 200 dual desks to reduce the deficit.
Mr Amankwah said despite the challenges, the Municipality had been performing well in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) over the years, citing the 2021 academic year during which the Municipality scored 97 per cent passes.
The Director conceded government alone could not provide the needed educational needs and appealed to philanthropist, non-governmental organisations and development partners to come to the aid of the Municipality with the provision of infrastructure and materials.