Bantama cluster of schools in ruins

The Bantama Cluster of schools has joined the Asem Experimental M/A Primary School in the Ashanti region as one of the public schools that are collapsing as a result of poor maintenance. This has reportedly resulted in low enrolment, as most of the buildings in the school have developed cracks in the walls, thus making them unsafe for academic activities.

The Chronicle has discovered that since its construction over 80 years ago, these buildings have not seen significant renovation, resulting in its current poor state.

School Management Committee Chairman

Mr Peter Akwasi Preprah Gyamfi, the Chairman of the School Management Committee (SMC), told The Chronicle that his outfit was equally worried over the poor state of the Bantama Cluster of Schools.

According to him, the entire block of the primary section of the school has become a death trap and that it has to be closed down. “The pillars have cracked, raising questions about the integrity of the structure. One day we will wake up to hear bad news that, the building has collapsed,” he said.

The SMC Chairman revealed that the Bantama State M/A Primary School, the alma matter of Francis Asenso-Boakye, the Member of Parliament for Bantama, is in total darkness because it does not have electricity. The school does not also have Information Communication and Technology (ICT) laboratory, even though it has been in existence since 1940. He disclosed that the entire State Primary School has a population of 220.

On the status of government schools in Kumasi, he disclosed that they continue to lack infrastructure because government has neglected them, that is, JHS and Primary Schools.

“If political leaders have their wards enrolled in these schools, they won’t be doing this. If the authorities do not pay attention to the elementary schools, they will collapse in future.”

In terms of security, the chairman of the school management committee noted that the Bantama Cluster of schools is open to the public and that unauthorised people walk through the campus, whilst classes are in session.

Akwasi Gyamfi disclosed that the Primary school does not have a place of convenience, due to encroachment by the Asanteman Senior High School for the past three years, and as such they share the toilet with State Boys.

It is a public lavatory which serves as source of Internally Generated Fund (IGF) for the school.

In spite of the above challenges, he disclosed to The Chronicle that SMC sent letters to the Member of Parliament for Banatama Constituency, Mr. Francis Asenseo-Boakye, who is an old boy of the school, but he has not responded to their plea.

He has, therefore, appealed to the government and traditional leaders among others, to come to the aid of the school.

“Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) and well-meaning Ghanaians should come to the aid of the schools,” he pleaded.

Kumasi Metro Education Director

When reached on phone for his side of the story, the Kumasi Metro Education Director, David Oppong, admitted to The Chronicle that it is true that some of the buildings in the schools are in a bad state. According to him, his outfit had cordoned off those dilapidated buildings and informed the KMA accordingly.

Mr Oppong also admitted to The Chronicle that the poor state of the school buildings has affected enrolments.

Apart from this challenge, mechanics have also invaded the campus and are making academic work very tedious. These difficulties facing the school, he said, had been in existence long before he assumed office.

He told The Chronicle that the place belongs to the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) and as such GES does not have the power to evict these mechanics and those who have made the school their sleeping place.

On the issue of not having ICT laboratories for the schools, Director Oppong admitted the problem, but said steps were being taking to deal with the situation.

He also told this reporter that the schools have not been connected to the national grid for power supply because they not have the resources to be paying monthly bills.

Assemblyman for Bantama

When contacted, Mr. Desmond Amankwa, the assembly man for the area, acknowledged that a full block at the State M/A Primary had been closed down owing to the poor state of the building. Responding to a question, he noted that the Member of Parliament for Bantama, Francis Asenso-Boakye, has been informed about the situation, adding that the KMA is also in the known.

Member of Parliament for Bantama

Several attempts to speak to the Member of Parliament for Bantama Constituency, Francis Asenso-Boakye, about the unfolding development in his constituency yielded no result, as calls and SMS message went unanswered.



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