SOS: Day Care Centre on part of busy street
By Bernice Bessey
One might expect that a school located in the heart of the city should be more privileged than its counterparts in other regions, or better still, boast of infrastructure that makes life comfortable for the children.
But that is not the case of the Dorothy Care Foundation, which is a day care school located in one of the dense communities called Bukom in the Odododiodo constituency of the Greater Accra Region, which has over 150 pupils.
The school is run on a veranda and part of a busy street that joins the Accra beach road.
The saddest aspect of the school is that children fall between the ages of three and eleven years, which makes them vulnerable to the danger of the road.
Madam Dorothy Akuokor, who is the head, during an interview with the Accra File, said she started the centre with the intention of bringing education the doorsteps of the people, since most children in the vicinity were not going to school.
She added that most of the children belong to teenagers, who also need to be taken care of by their parents, but due to unpleasant circumstances had also become parents.
Explaining how the school started, she said she came to live in the area while suffering from a serious illness, but during her stay realised that many of the children loiter during school hours loiter doing nothing.
Madam Dorothy was then prompted to bring the children together and teach them while waiting for their parents who are mostly unemployed or fisher folks and traders.
She said after two years of voluntarily teaching the children, some of the parents felt the need to bring their wards every morning to the centre, and some also suggested she turn the centre into a school, since the government schools were a bit far off.
“They promised to pay feeding fees for the children’s up keep, which I also agreed to,” she added.
Although she does not charge fees for tuition, some parents are unable to meet the daily feeding fee of GH¢1.00.
“Sometimes I have to go to the children’s homes to bath them and bring them to school, because their parents could not afford the feeding fee. I also thought it wise not to charge school fees, because I want to encourage parents to bring their wards to school, and also to impose strict birth control in the area, because if everything becomes free, more people will be giving birth for free education,” she said.
She added that the premises of the school was family house, and that on Thursdays and Fridays school is halted for funerals and other outdoor events to take place.
She said the people in the community were not supportive of the good work she was undertaking to make the future brighter for the children.
“Since the centre became a school about two months ago, a foreign national donated uniforms to the children, and a bank came to paint the premises to make it look a school,” she revealed.
Ironically, some parents bring their wards as early as 6:00 in the morning without food, but come for them as late as 7:00 in the evening.
She added that children are forced to go home whenever the weather threatens to rain, because there was no enough shelter to accommodate them.
She said the teachers allowance was being taken care of with a loan secured by her mother, “although the GH¢50 allowance given to the teachers is not enough, they were doing a good job.”
She, therefore, appealed to the government and benevolent organisations to assist the school secure space for the children to have classroom to study, and funds to take care of the salaries of the teachers.
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