By Bernie Bessey
About 364 pupils and teachers of the Gallia Junior High School are in danger, as the school buildings which housing them are in a deplorable state, and if care is not taken, valuable lives would be lost due to the negligence of the authority responsible for schools.
When the Accra File visited the school, it noted that the walls of the school blocks were cracked, while one side of one of the blocks had collapsed, the remaining sides were crumbling, and would probably collapse in the advent of a strong storm.
The Headmaster of the school, Mr. Samuel Agbo, told the file that the school also lacked adequate classrooms, and that the children were compelled to run the morning and afternoon shift system, but now their lives were in danger, as the buildings were in a much weakened state.
He said the buildings were put up by Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, for military personnel, but later, two of its buildings were converted into the school.
He further explained since the military personnel left, it had never received any renovations, which had resulted in its present dilapidated state, and has been so for over a decade.
He added that the weak nature of the buildings has also resulted in the overcrowding of the classrooms, which the teacher are finding it difficult to cop with, and pupils going through a difficult time, because they do not have sufficient classrooms for practical works, which is affecting thir studies.
The Headmaster said the pupils are sent home whenever the weather threatens to rain, for fear that the buildings might collapse on them, adding, “As you can see, the roofing sheets have developed holes; we have no place to hide our heads, and water even gets into the office through the windows.”
According to Mr. Agbo, the school does not have toilet facilities, and documents of entitlement to give them legal right to sue some private individuals who are encroaching on the school land.
He said the school tried a toilet but was stopped by the chief of the area that portion of the land had been sold to a private individual to put up a house, adding “as at now we do not know as a school where our boundaries ends. I am that soon the school will not have a compound for assembly.”
He stated that the school does not also have staff common room, while a shed provided by Parent and Teachers Association (PTA) for practical works of the pupils, has rather been converted into common room for the teachers.
As at the time the file visited, the pupils were writing end of term examinations, but were being disturbed by vehicles passing nearby.
Due to this the teachers have appealed for a fence wall to provide security for the pupils, and therefore, called on the government, Ghana Education Service and Ministry of Education to come to the aid of the school.