Like a brilliant child who goes to school in a tattered cloth unnoticed by the parents, Begoro Presbyterian Senior High School (SHS) in the Fanteakwa North District of the Eastern Region, has been overlooked regardless of its academic achievements.
The school, which is the only SHS in the Fanteakwa North District and located in Kradaso, a community close to the district capital, Begoro, has suffered many infrastructure deficits, a situation which is gradually affecting teaching and learning negatively.
The school initially started as the Presbyterian Middle Girls Boarding School in the early forties by the Basel Mission, was later converted into the Begoro Women’s Training College on the December 10, 1965.
It was later converted to Begoro Secondary School following the phasing out of the Begoro Women’s Training College on August 31, 1972, and has since produced very important personalities who are, and have, contributed to the socio-economic development of the country.
Notwithstanding its contributions towards national development, it has seen little or no infrastructure development since its inception as past and present headmasters, teaching and non-teaching staff improvised for teaching and learning to take place.
This came to light during a literacy quiz competition, organised by the Nick Otchere Literacy Foundation (NOLF) for the school and two others – Osino Presbyterian SHS and Nsutam SHS and Technical.
Speaking to the Eastern File on the sideline, the Headmaster of the school, Mr. Gerald Manteaw, said education was a process of facilitating learning or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits.
The visibly frustrated Headmaster mentioned that quality education, on the other hand, entailed issues such as appropriate skills development, gender parity, provision of relevant school infrastructure, equipment, educational materials and resources, scholarships or teaching force.
The Headmaster is of the view that, the immense contributions of his hardworking teaching and non-teaching staff would amount to nothing if they continued to improvise for basic materials that were pivotal for quality teaching and learning.
According to him, the lack of interest to improve the inadequate infrastructure development had wrought a serious effect on academic performance and danger to the lives of learners, as well as teachers.
The Headmaster indicated that poor infrastructure in schools resulted in the poor quality of education in the lives of the students.
He disclosed that a rainstorm which hit the school last year affected some infrastructures, adding that due to lack of finance, the school authorities were finding it difficult to fix the roofing of the affected buildings.
The Presec Headmaster continued that the environment of every school played an important contributing factor to quality teaching and learning, a situation that his outfit could not boast of, because of the poor road network and inadequate classrooms.
The 51-year old school, with over 2,400 students, can only boast of a two-storey building classroom block, which is without doors and windows, with accompanying hanging electrical fittings.
The rest of the classroom blocks are pavilions that are without windows and doors, exposing the students to rain and the scorching sun, as well as competing with goats and sheep during class periods.
Mr. Manteaw further stated that that the school lacked a dining hall, kitchen, assembly hall, worship center and entertainment hall, and therefore has had to make do with a converted two bedrooms into a dining hall, which also serves as for entertainment, an assembly hall, and a chapel.
On the pantry, he was honest to admit that the little said about the pantry, which looked like a relatively modern coop in a village, the better.
What seems to be alarming is the lack of computers for over 100 students the school has registered as candidates who would write ICT as an elective subject in the upcoming West Africa Senior High School Certificate Examination in August, this year.
According to the Headmaster, the destiny of the candidates was in limbo, because the school could only pride itself with makeshift five computers that the students use for practical work in a cubicle-like room.
Mr. Gerald Manteaw has, therefore, made a passionate appeal to non-governmental organisations, philanthropists, benevolent organisations and residents, home and abroad, of Begoro to help provide them with computers.
The Headmaster also complained bitterly about how parents in the area were using their wards, who are day students, for farming and economic activities, adding that especially as on Fridays, which was market day in the area, about 70 percent of the day students absent themselves from school.
The reason was that they were helping their parents, and appealed to the parents to desist from such acts.