The horrible state of Gbawe Gonse School

By Bernice Bessey

The school children of the Gbawe Gonse Primary huddled together and looking at the ripped off roof of their ‘school building’and wondering about their fate (left), The Gbawe Gonse School block with the roof destroyed and its collapsed walls. Pics: Eric Owiredu (right)

Over 350 pupils and eight teachers at the Gbawe Gonse Municipal Assembly Primary School are being compelled to give and receive teaching and learning instructions under the scorching the sun, due to a rainstorm that ripped off the school roof over two weeks ago, with blackboards, desks and chairs also destroyed.

The Gbawe Gonse M/A Primary is among the deprived schools in the Ga South Municipality, and has no classrooms to house to the children, so an abandoned church was converted into the school.

According to the Headmistress the school, Ms. Rebecca Owusu, the entire area of Gbawe and Ablekuma has only two schools serving the whole community, which has led to overcrowding in the classrooms.

“Most of the people in the area, especially, the parents and guardians of these children, are not gainfully employed to send their wards to private schools.”

She said since it was a church building, they have to partition the classrooms before lessons are begun, which was making difficult for the teachers to operate freely.

The Headmistress stated that the main church block consisted of a kindergarten and the lower primary, while the children service part also houses the upper primary.

She said that the school does not have offices to keep the books, no toilet and urinal facilities, table and chairs for teachers, electricity, water, desks, chairs, and appropriate classrooms for the children.

She stressed that they had been compelled by the situation to keep the teaching materials in nearby houses after school hours.

According to her, efforts were made by the Parent and Teachers Association (PTA) to rent canopies for the children, but that could not be continued due to lack of funds.

She added that the pupils were not benefiting from the school feeding programme, which is meant to benefit all school-going children in the lower primary.

As at the time, the Accra File visited the school, the children were idling around, and the teachers seeking shelter under the former children’s shed.

She said letters had been written to the officials of the assembly about the deplorable state of the school had received no response, and also complained that officials of the Gbawe Gonse Municipal Assembly had not visited the school after the disaster occurred.

She also called for the relocation of the school, since the land does not belong to it, and would hinder future expansion, and said they were even lucky that the disaster occurred during a weekend.

She however, appealed to the government, organisations and other stakeholders to come to their aid, since they do not no where to go after school reopens in January 11th 2011.

The Budget Officer of the assembly, Patrick Nyonator, said plans were far in advance to renovate the school during the holidays, and that he had visited the school after the disaster.

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