The Bawku West District branch of the Ghana National Teachers Association (GNAT) says poor infrastructure in most schools in the area is affecting smooth academic work, leading to poor performance.

It said poor structures and lack of furniture coupled with lack of teaching and learning materials of the new curriculum were impeding smooth delivery of lessons and appealed to the government through the District Assembly to address the situation.

The Bawku West Chairman of GNAT, Mr Joseph Azare made the revelation during the 6th Quadrennial and 53th District Delegates Conference of the Bawku West District branch of GNAT.

It was held on the theme: “GNAT@90, surviving as a reliable and vibrant teacher union in the 21st century; the role of leadership and members in the Bawku West District”.

Poor school infrastructure affecting academic work in Bawku West – GNAT

Mr Azare said most of the schools especially at the basic level had few infrastructural facilities and the few were not in good shape with most of the buildings having cracked floors and walls posing threats to the lives of children and teachers.

He noted that most of the schools did not have furniture including teachers’ tables and chairs compelling the children to sit on the bare floor to learn with others laying on their stomachs to write.

“Today, educational infrastructure in the Bawku West District is a major concern to the teachers and for that matter the union. Many of the schools are without furniture forcing students and pupils to either sit on stools or bare floor while others lie prostrate on the floor to write. Certainly, there cannot be a more challenging situation than this.

“This notwithstanding, the delay in the supply of the new curriculum materials to basic schools is not only hindering smooth delivery of lessons but has outstretched the classroom teacher to his or her full length and this should not be happening in the 21st century,” he said.

The Chairman said if the government did not address the situation by improving the teaching and learning environment of schools in the area and releasing the teaching materials to teachers, it would thwart the efforts teachers were making to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly Goal four, which emphasizes access to quality and equal education.

The Bawku West District Director of Education, Mr Timothy Nasaal Yuornuo said most of the schools had formally written to the Directorate about the appalling situation of infrastructure in the schools.

He said although the District Assembly had given the Directorate about 120 dual desks and promised to supply additional 500 dual desks, the situation needed collective efforts from all stakeholders to address it.

He reiterated his resolve to engage major stakeholders including Mr Cletus Apul Avoka, the Member of Parliament for the area, to support in the provision of the furniture, which was a contributory factor of the poor performance of the children at the Basic Education Certificate Examination.

At the end of the conference, Mr Godwin Apabum and Mr Zakari Anobiga were elected Chairman and Vice respectively while Mr Clement Anawai and Mr Daniel Abuguba were elected Treasurer and Trustee respectively.

The others were Mr David Agbango, Basic School Representative, Mr Evans Mbas, Youth Coordinator, Madam Esther Abenem, GNATLAS Coordinator, Mr Simon Agazere, Second Cycle Representative and Mr William Braimah, Education Administration Rep