Form one students of some Senior High Schools are studying in congested classrooms, because of the high intake of freshers during the 2017/2018 academic year.
At the St. Thomas Aquinas Senior High School in Accra for instance, the available classrooms are packed to their capacity.
In an interview with Graphic Online on Thursday, the headmaster of St. Thomas Aquinas, Mr. Cyril Kwadzo Dadey, attributed the development to the implementation of the Free SHS Policy introduced by the government as its flagship policy this year.
According to the Aquinas headmaster, although the policy was a good initiative, which had reduced financial burden on parents, it had led to more intake in the various schools.
Using St Aquinas as an example, he said the school requested for 520 students, but 819 were placed by the Ghana Education Service (GES).
He said 716 out of the number have so far reported. “I have asked for 520 to be placed in this school but 819 students were placed. Out of the number, as at October 3, 716 had reported.”
“So how am I coping with that number? Congestion in the classrooms, I put them all together.".
Mr Dadey said the minimum number of students in a classroom should be 40 but he now has 80, 78, 77…, with the minimum number now being 64 in a classroom.
Mr Dadey said as part of measures to accommodate the students, the science laboratory of the school has been turned into a classroom.
This, he noted, was seriously affecting teaching and learning in the school.
He was hopeful the President will help in constructing more classroom blocks for most schools with congested classrooms.
Apart from the congestion, Mr Dadey said the school lacks equipment for the science laboratory, computers and monitors for the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) laboratory, and projectors for all the departments.
He further stated that the school also need an assembly hall.
When the Graphic Online team visited some of the classrooms, some first-year students were sitting on plastic chairs without tables, with little space in between them.
Some of the students called on the government to come to their aid.