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Shift System Impedes Academic Work in Schools   
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Dr. Alfred Vanderpuije, Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, on Wednesday observed that poor planning and lack of infrastructure in public schools have resulted in the shift system for about 70,000 school children in the metropolis.

He stressed the need for school projects to be planned with the foresight and that high rise buildings should replace old low buildings to cater for increases in enrolment.

Dr. Vanderpuije made the observation during inspection of development projects in the metropolis and efforts to eliminate the shift system in public schools.

Some projects inspected are the refurbished Saint Peters Roman Catholic Basic School in Osu Clottey Sub-metropolitan Area, renovation of Enobali One and Two Junior High Schools in La Sub-metropolitan Area, completion of a six-classroom block for La Bawalashie Presbyterian Primary School in the Ayawaso West Sub-metropolitan Area.

The rest are the conversion of a PWD workshop into a youth resource centre, a two-storey 12-classroom block for Danboi-Tesano cluster of schools, and the completed three-classroom block at Abofu all in the Okaikoi Sub-metropolitan Area and Kokomlemle cluster of schools in the Ayawaso Central Sub-metropolitan Area.

Dr. Vanderpuije dubbed the tour "inspection phase one" and was to identify uncompleted structures and planning for improved infrastructure for schools.

The second phase would identify schools operating the shift systems but have available land to build complex structures to provide enough classrooms, science and computer laboratory, library, counselling centre, performing arts and administration blocks.

He directed that all encroachers on school lands should be served with notices and their structures demolished to pave way for future development of schools.

Dr. Vanderpuije expressed concern about shoddy works by contractors such as leaking roofs, poor concrete floors, poor electrical wiring and the use of school compounds as football fields.

He asked Sub-metropolitan Directors of Education to ensure that such shortcomings were improved for efficient and effective teaching and learning in schools.

Dr. Vanderpuije directed school authorities to ensure serene environment and collaborate with the Sub-metropolitan Directorate of Education and Environmental Sanitation to solve the sanitation problems in schools.

He abhorred the use of an old cemetery as rubbish dump at the Enobali Junior High School premises where the late Sergeant Adjetey was murdered during the 28 February crossroads shooting incident saying: "Such a historic site should not be abandoned."

Dr. Vanderpuije said all the projects were being funded under the Assemblies Common Fund and appealed to government to review the current sharing of the fund.

He said the allocation of about 45 per cent of the fund for sanitation and fumigation activities should stop because the primary responsibilities of assemblies were to ensure environmental sanitation.

Out of the 18 schools inspected only Abofu School in the Okaikoi Sub-metropolitan Area has a site plan, Saint Peters Roman Catholic Basic School in Osu Clottey Sub-metropolitan Area adjudged the school with good infrastructure and good sanitation practices.

Nii Okaija Dinsey, Accra Metropolitan Director of Education, appealed for expansion and rehabilitation of school projects to stop the shift system which was affecting academic work in public schools.

He called for the re-introduction of security guards on public school premises to ward off illegal activities.


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