Pupils Sit On Time Bomb

The Parent/Teacher Association (PTA) of Asafo Pechi M/A Primary School in the East Akyem Municipality of the Eastern Region has appealed to government to immediately pull down the structure serving as classroom to avoid any major disaster.

The PTA say the pupils and teachers are sitting on time bomb and all efforts through the Ghana Education Service must be made to close down the crumbling structure to avoid deaths.

The teachers and pupils in the school are living dangerously due to the aggravating dilapidated state of the primary school block.

A visit to the school by the DAILY HERITAGE revealed that there were deep cracks, scattered roofs with floor completely bare and dusty serving as a place for knowledge acquisition. The school serves three farming communities namely; Atwemamena, Pechi and Abokobi, but its current state is depriving many in the communities the opportunity to acquire knowledge.

Already, many parents have started withdrawing their children from the school due to the danger it poses.

A PTA executive, also an opinion leader at Atwemamena, George Ansah told the DAILY HERITAGE that, “a great disaster is looming to befall the communities because the classrooms may cave in on the children at any time so if the government is reluctant to fix the problem then the school must be closed down to save the lives of our children.”

He said several attempts have been made to the Member of Parliament for the area, Atta Akyea and the East Akyem Municipal Assembly to come to their aid, but nothing has been done despite many promises.

Mr Ansah said the condition of the school is affecting enrollment as parents are reluctant to send their children to school.

He mentioned that parents have chosen to allow their children trek over 3km on the Accra-Kumasi highway to attend schools at Akim Asafo due to the state of their community school.

The headmaster of the school, George Sackitey stated that enrollment has reduced drastically from 100 to 40 within the last two academic terms.

According to him, teaching and learning have become life threatening as a result of the difficulties confronting them. He mentioned lack of toilet facilities as another challenge, hence, teachers and pupils have no choice than to resort to the bush to ease themselves.

The headmaster also stressed that due to the bad state of the school, snakes have been invading the classrooms even when teaching is ongoing.

Apart from the threat of getting bitten by snakes, other poisonous reptiles also invade the classrooms during school hours.

"Due to the bad condition of the school, sometimes snakes, while you are teaching, all of a sudden you see snake running through the classroom compelling the pupils and teachers to run away. One day, a teacher decided to fetch water from the pot at the office; unknown to him, there was a snake coiled in the pot which nearly bit him. So my brother, this is the situation we find ourselves in."

A teacher who was recently posted to the school and spoke on condition of anonymity said conditions in the school are discouraging, adding that three out of five trained teachers posted to the school vanish after they observe the harsh conditions at the school.