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Over 1,700 students of the Ada Senior High Technical School at Sege in Ada West have gone on Christmas holidays with several skin injuries from bedbugs’ stings.

The students of the school had had to battle with bedbugs that had been hiding in their beds and mattresses throughout the first term, and managers of the school told The Chronicle that the school could not fight the smelly stinging insects because their coffers were empty. The invasion of the bedbugs in the students’ heavily congested dormitories forced them to sleep on the floor.

Others spend the night under untreated and small mosquito nets on the verandahs, thereby exposing the students to malaria spreading mosquitoes.

Ada Senior high Technical is a mixed second-cycle institution and the female boarding students, like their male counterparts; sleep on the bare floor or on the verandah of the dormitories because of the bedbugs.

Several days of drying the beddings and mattresses in the sun, in a bid to ward off the blood-sucking tiny insects did not yield the needed results, thus some boarding students, at a point, had to opt for day schooling. Others sought for transfers. Some teachers, who sleep in the schools, are not excluded from the bedbugs’ attacks. Sharing their frustrations, Madam Dorcas Naana Wobeson, Assistant Head, Administration, explained that the situation was very alarming and one the school could not deal with. She explained that the cost of fumigating the entire school could not be borne by the school, which is handicapped financially.

The students could not be charged for the cost of fumigation either, consequently, both boarding students and teachers who were residents and teachers who were residents in the school had no option than to sleep on the verandahs for most nights last term.

The Chairman for the Parents and Teachers’ Association (PTA) of the school, Carlos Gideon Akweh, added that the Association had attempted to bear the cost of fumigating the entire school; however, their immediate opportunity cost was the provision of few furniture for teaching and learning.

Ada Senior High Technical stated as a community secondary school in Sege, then part of the Dangme East District, now Ada East District and the school is yet to taste major infrastructural renovations and the provision of necessary teaching and learning materials since its establishment about two decades ago.

There are a couple of government’s and GETFUND’s projects that have been abandoned for over two years, and with hundreds of broken students’ desks left  to rot in the open, Mr. Akweh explained that the PTA needed to spend a chunk of their contributions in fixing some of the desks for  students.

The PTA’s priority for providing more sitting spaces for students disabled them from fumigating the school to kill bedbugs and other insects and animals that cannot cohabitate with humans.

Mr. Carlos Gideon Akweh, thus, entreated the Ada West Education Directorate and Education Directorate  and Education Ministry to help fight the invasion of the bedbugs in the school, before the students and teachers returned from the Christmas vacation.
Source: The Chronicle

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