In September 2018, JoyNews told the story of two-second cycle School graduates who converted an abandoned poultry farm into a school to support underprivileged children at Kwayemu Dan-Nyame in the Ashanti Region.
Learning in such an environment was equated to a shouting competition between teachers as two different classes shared the dilapidated poultry farm.
Graduating from one class to another as easy as taking a step.
Today, a seven-unit ultramodern classroom block has been commissioned for the children of Kwayemu Dan-Nyame in the Asante Akim Central.
“School children walked seven miles which lasts about two to three hours to have access to schools.”
Those were the words of Rev Emmanuel Dela Tega in 2018. Reverend Tega had gone there for evangelism and met the situation of the children.
He held a community meeting with some leaders and they decided to convert a poultry farm into a school.
“We went to the owner of the abandoned poultry farm and pleaded it should be used as a school.”
The school started with eight children in September 2016 and later rose to 46 in 2017.
With little resources, they had learned to share. Classes One and two occupied a room without any demarcation.
Lessons conducted simultaneously.
These were children who tasted formal education for many years since their birth.
None of them was in school uniform or had decent sandals. Their faces however showed extreme anxiety to get an education.
The structure was not good especially when it rained. Children mostly wanted to climb cocoa trees – an act that nearly caused their eviction.
They had learned, overtime to ignore the noise. Not even our cameras could disrupt their zeal and desire to learn.
Those in Class One would graduate not to the next class but to the other side of the room for Class Two.
What was taught plus any other noise sipped through the gaps of the wooden structure all in the search of education at Kwayemu Dan-Nyame Presbyterian Preparatory School.
No administration block, no library, water, and electricity.
Two teachers who volunteered to teach at the school, Emmanuel Abugri, and Theresa Aladago, were both graduates from the National Vocational institute at Nalerigu and Nalerigu Youth Leadership Training Institute respectively in the NorthEast Region.
Almost a midday when we visited the school in 2018, there was a song of joy from the schoolchildren to welcome one woman who had decided to provide uniforms and some academic materials for the children.
Mrs. Theodosia Jackson said there was more to be done to improve the lives of the children, especially the school structure.
Theodosia Jackson had also offered to support the two teachers to pursue teacher education at Jackson College of Education.
More of Theodosia Jackson’s gesture was needed to shape the destiny of the children.
Almost 3 years later, the story of Kwayemu Dan-Nyame has changed. And the new school block is determined to make a difference in the lives of rural children.
Through the gesture of Mrs Jackson, parents at Kwayemu Dan-Nyame are determined to make the best out of the school.
“I had the great compassion to come and help this community. The road to the nearby school was bad and the parents feared they would leave their children to this distance to Obenimase.”
Mrs. Jackson says parents weren’t sending their children to school. They were rather accompanying them to their cocoa farms.
The school has a toilet facility for school children and teachers. It has constant water supply system and kitchen for a daily canteen.
Nine pupil teachers were awarded full scholarships to further education at Jackson College of education.
Emmanuel Abugre who volunteered to teach at the abandoned poultry structure is one of the beneficiaries.
“We faced a lot of problems because children were scattered in one room and teaching wasn’t going on well.”
Emmanuel says the new school block is a relief to them.
The teachers are also given a monthly allowance for teaching at Kwayemu Dan-Nyame to motivate them.
Richard Aboagye Frimpong is the headteacher.
“This is going to change the lives of the pupils through quality education. And we are assuring that we will do our best to give quality education.”
Reverend Emmanuel Dela Tega initially suggested the use of the abandoned poultry farm as a classroom to save the children from journeying two hours to school.
“I am excited. I was not expecting this building at all,” he said.
Residents are full of praise for the exceptional support by Mrs. Theodosia Jackson to break the unhealthy rural-urban dichotomy in accessing quality education.
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