Inadequate classrooms have left management of Chiana Senior High School in the Kasena/Nankana West District of the Upper East Region with no other choice than to create “under trees” classrooms to facilitate teaching and learning in the school.
Two of such classrooms have been created to host some class sessions of second year students. Another classroom is also under a tent canopy. Classes that are lucky to be in normal classroom blocks are also overflowing with students on their verandas.
The case is no different with student accommodation as the school is faced with challenges due to the abandoning of works on the construction of a one-storey boys’ dormitory, which was given on contract since 2014. The entire male student body of the school spend their nights in an old building which can barely contain 60 beds. The building has overflowed its veranda with beds, “chop boxes” and other personal effect of students.
The situation has led to the intrusion of strangers who dip their hands in “chop boxes” of students to steal when students are away for lessons. Their belongings are also left under the mercy of the weather and many have lost their belongings to the rains and the excessive heat of the sun, one of them told Atinka News.
Margret Bobi, Headmistress of the school, told Atinka News that finding the extra space to accommodate and to use as classrooms has been the main challenge in the school. She noted that the implementation of the Free-SHS policy by government has shot up the number of admissions this academic year. She lauded the policy but quizzed how that could be achievable without proper facilities.
” We had a good number of admissions this year. We admitted well over 400 students even though I was asked to receive more. I couldn’t have taken in more students without enough classrooms and the lack of a proper boys’ dormitory in the school,” she said.
She continued that her biggest headache as the headmistress of the school is the challenge of having to accommodate the boys. According to her, several letters to draw the attention of authorities to their challenges have yielded no results.
” The major problem is accommodation for the boys. Have you seen where the boys sleep? It’s very bad. That is an old block we have converted into a temporary structure to house them but even with that some sleep outside. Behind this office is a new boys’ dormitory under construction since 2014. The contractor has abandoned work for lack of funds. The new administration block is also being constructed by the same contractor and works on that one too has been abandoned ”
The Chiana Senior High School is one of about four second cycle schools in the Kasena/Nankana West District and the only school to the north of the district. The school campus is dotted with several construction projects with some in their last stages of completion. Workers of the contractor building the huge dining hall facility were seen on site fixing some interior elements as at when the news team visited.