Residents of Sawer, a community in the Yilo Krobo Municipality are appealing to the government and the Ministry of Education to rehabilitate the Sawer L/A Primary School which had its roof ripped off after heavy rainfall last year.
According to the residents, the roof of the six-unit classroom block, which was ripped off in April last year when schools were on break due to COVID-19 restrictions, is yet to be rehabilitated a year after that incident.
The school, which is located in the heart of Somanya, the district capital of the Yilo Krobo Municipality, has nurtured thousands of youth and provided knowledge for countless residents in the community, but the state of the school structure is not something old students, parents, teachers and current students are proud of.
Teaching comes to an abrupt end whenever there is a change in the weather, indicating possible rainfall, and according to the Parents Teachers Association, this has taken a toll on enrolment.
The PTA Chairman George Klomanya disclosed this to Citi News during a visit.
“There was a wind storm last year which wreaked havoc on the classroom structure ripping off the roof of all the structures including the headmaster’s office causing cracks in all the building. The education directorate visited to assess the extent of damage and promised to get it fixed but nothing has been done for over a year now. Due to that, majority of parents have taken their wards to other schools causing a decline in enrolment.”
“Luckily Compassion came to build a new structure close to the school and the kids have been put there to learn which is a temporary arrangement. When it begins to rain then we quickly dispatch all the kids home, so we are calling on the Ghana Education Service to come and see what is going on here”.
The rainfall which also ripped off the headmaster’s office caused serious cracks in all the rooms of the building and currently, the headmaster is operating his office without a roof.
“The more dangerous aspect of it is that the KG1 and KG2 pupils are still occupying and learning from portions of the block with deep cracks and one may never know what may happen if same or similar rainfall is experienced again,” he added.
Residents of the area told Citi News the plight of teachers and students of the school has affected teaching and learning.
One of the residents, Joseph Tekpe Major said: “We tried reaching the assemblyman of our area who told us that he had tried all he can to get the structure rehabilitated but to no avail. When you look at the student population, you will notice the number keeps on reducing because of this structure and now that there’s no roofing we know it is affecting teaching and learning”.
“The structure has become a death trap and the assembly has not been proactive because this would not be the situation if the assembly had been more proactive”.
The Yilo Krobo Education office is equally concerned but remains optimistic about its renovation by the assembly.
Solomon Sackitey who speaks for the Education Directorate in Yilo Krobo told Citi News he is confident the assembly will get the structure rehabilitated.
“We are aware of the current state of the Sawer primary school where rainstorm ripped off the entire roof of the structure. The assembly has been there and has given us the assurance to get it rehabilitated. GES does not have the financial muscles to put up classroom blocks”.
“Anything that affects enrolment and access to quality education is a worry to us but for now I do not expect that to happen because of the new building but if the junior high school is approved for them then it means they will need more structures. We are confident the assembly will come to their aid but as we wait for the central government I want to use your medium to appeal to individuals and corporate organizations to also come to our aid and help us just like compassion did”.
But until the government acts swiftly, these young kindergarten pupils will continue having classes under precarious conditions in the cracked dilapidated structure.