There is relief for school children at the Bincha D/A Primary School in the Nkwanta South District of the Volta Region, who have been learning under a thatched structure for years.
The pupils learn under a structure built of tree stamps and roofed with thatch. School session always ends whenever it rains or when the sunshine becomes unbearable.
Even more disturbing is the absence of desks, cupboards, and teaching and learning materials in the school. The children sit on clay blocks to learn. Some bring in plastic chairs from home which they sit on in class. The school, from kindergarten one to primary six, had only one teacher, who is a Senior High School graduate.
After the story of the school was told in the Joy news documentary “Jungle Poor” last year, the Ghana Education Service has posted a trained teacher there, two more untrained teachers have been recruited, and some 20 desks have been provided for the school. The pupils, however continue to learn under the deplorable structure.
“The structure of the school is still a problem for us… the children are suffering because of the current situation. If we don’t get any help, we cannot do our best in the school,” a teacher Enoch Bimpong told Joy news during a recent visit.
Pupils there are not excited about the conditions they learn under either.
“They should build my school for me, and give me school uniform and give us chairs…. They should do it block and paint it very well,” Emmanuel Lumour, a class five pupil said.
According to the headmaster Samah Godwin, the school has a population of more than 300 pupils. But less than 80 of them report regularly for classes because of the poor nature of the school block.
“We face a lot of challenges here….parents feel reluctant to bring their children to school because of the infrastructure here,” he said.
Mr. Samah also complained the school does not have textbooks and adequate teaching and learning materials to be able to train the students appropriately.
But there’s now hope in the horizon. The Victoria Michaels Foundation’s African Literacy Development Initiative, (ALDI) founded by International Model Victoria Michaels is pledging to support the school with a six-unit classroom block, as well as teaching learning materials.
“The reason we came here today is to ascertain certain pertinent facts and what level of work needs to go into putting up a school block….. we will go back to the drawing board and draw up a plan that will suit everything we have seen today and the things we want to roll out in this community,’ Victoria Michaels said.
She described as unacceptable, the conditions under which the pupils learn.
“I interacted with some of the kids and it will surprise you that a student in primary six could not spell the word English, and it is very, very sad….the children do not deserve this,” Victoria Michaels said.
Project Coordinator at the foundation, Edith Lawson, explained the plan is to provide comprehensive support for the educational system in the community that can stand the test of time.
“A lot is going to be done, it’s not just the school block which was the initial reason we came here. ALDI is going to go beyond this…The project will be in steps, because it will involve a lot. To give the community something lasting,” she said.
The African Literacy Development Initiative has the objective of helping provide quality education and good school infrastructure to deprived communities. It provides support to schools through the provision of books, libraries, and learning aides, among others.