Imagine you are on your way to the toilet to answer to nature’s call, only to find out that the only 12 toilets available are occupied and you are at the last position, in a winding queue just to use the bathroom.
That is quite the reality for students at St. Francis of Assisi Girls Senior High School in the Jirapa Municipality of the Upper West region which has produced some of the nations best personalities like Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama and Upper East Regional Minister, Paulina Abayage who have contributed to the country’s development.
Current students of the school though, have a difficulty attending to their biologicial needs as a result of inadequate toilet facilities at the school.
With a total population of 1,208 students, a one 12-seater toilet facility serves the whole student and staff population.
The St. Francis girls have expressed fears of contracting diseases from the only and over-used toilet facility on site.
Senior house mistress of the school, Madam Zulfata lamented about the poor state of toilet facilities at the school.
The toilet facilities at St Francis of Assisi Girls’ SHS in the Jirapa Muncipality
Senior house mistress of the school Madam Zulfata lamented about how the toilet limitations has affected the operations of the school.
“Mornings and evenings, you find these girls queueing to go to toilet and that affects work at the classrooms. Sometimes when teachers are in the classrooms, you find them going out to free themselves,” she stated.
Madam Salih, another staff of the school revealed that the students were excited when a contract was awarded for the construction of an additional 10-seater KVIP but their thrill at the news was cut short after the contractor abandoned the project after the foundation state.
The site is now being overtaken by weeds, she added.
Madam Zulfata also expressed concern over the security situation at the school.
She said due to the poor construction of a fence wall at the school, unscrupulous persons usually scaled over the fence wall to steal their valuables.
Frequent power outages at the school is another challenge the school faces. Local authorities believe the power outages are a result of loaded transformer.
Acting headmistress of the school, Sister Martha Kello revealed that the blackouts occur at a time that the students need power.
“From time to time, we have power outages, low current or it fluctuates. When students are busily and critically preparing for examination that is the time we experience the power outages,” she said.
She continued, “the worse of it happened on the eve of the 2018 WASSCE Mathematics paper. There was total blackout which I believed affected the performance of the students.”
Blackouts and limited toilet fcilities are not the only challenges the school faces.
There are cracks, gaping holes on the walls and the plastering peeling off and the Home Science block needs urgent renovation.
Dormitories that are supposed to house 20 students are taking twice the number, JoyNews’ Upper West’s Correspondent, Rafiq Salam reports.
As the St. Francis Assisi Girls Senior High School celebrates its 60th anniversary, the wish of the students and authorities at the school is that the aforementioned challenges are fixed.