As there are reports of insufficient furniture in schools in educational institutions across Ghana, in some instances compelling pupils to lay on the bare floor for lessons, a new trend has been observed in some communities in the Northern region where some women have developed the habit of breaking the less available furniture in schools in their communities for firewood.
The Northern Regional Directorate of Ghana Education Service (GES) has observed that some women in the Sagnarigu municipality have resorted to stealing wooden furniture of basic schools in the area for firewood.
According to the GES Regional Statistics Officer, Mr. Alhassan Seibu, some women in the community go into Education Ridge basic school to break the wooden furniture in the classrooms to set fire with it.
He added that scrap dealers also steal metal furniture and sell them as scraps.
“There is a current trending issue, some Sagnarigu women come to the classrooms, break the wooden furniture and go to set fire with it because our rooms are not secured”.
“If you talk about the scrap dealers – the metal furniture – they also break in and carry them to go and sell as scraps, this is the current trend that is developing in the area that I am staying, and I know it is the same in other districts.
“In Savelugu, an NGO went and donated over 500 desks and after six months when we went back everything was gone,” he lamented.
Mr. Alhassan Seibu made the disclosure during a presentation on the furniture situation across the Northern region and the performance of WAEC and WASSCE students last week during the 2023 maiden meeting of the Northern Regional Coordinating Council in Tamale.
Mr. Seibu revealed that there are about 157,000 kindergarten children but only 52,000 of them have desk to sit on, representing 33.6 percent, with a huge deficit of 104,000 children lying on their bellies.
At the primary school level, out of 340,000 children, only 149,000 are able to get a place to sit, representing 44 percent, and the remaining children lie on their stomachs to study.
Citi News further learnt that out of 99,855 children, 73,207 pupils at the Junior High School level have sitting places with a percentage of 73.3.
Additionally, 41,280 out of 55,876 have access to furniture at the Senior High School level and the remaining 14,000 do not have places to sit for classes.
The GES statistical officer, therefore, noted that the furniture situation is detrimental to the success of the students.