General News of Monday, 19 June 2017

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Resettling Breman pupils in leaky roof, cracked building is temporary - DCE

The District Chief Executive of the Odobeng Brakwa, in the Central Region, has taken responsibility for the decision to allow students of Breman Jamra to study in a near dilapidated school structure barely six months after six pupils died in the Breman collapsed school disaster.

Isaac Odoom admitted on Joy FM’s Newsnite programme Monday that the pupils had been moved to a mud "leaky structure", with "little cracks" but only as a temporary measure.

He said the structure which collapsed and killed six pupils is under construction and envisaged the structure will be ready for occupation next week.

He maintained the pupils were moved into the near dilapidated structure in order to allow work to be completed on the old structure which collapsed and killed six pupils in January this year.

When he was asked by host Evans Mensah if he should be held responsible in a likely event of a disaster, the DCE said yes, pointing out that, a group of Engineers who he visited the site with, have declared the structure safe for occupation despite visible cracks and leakages.

He was reacting to a Joy News report by Justice Baidoo which revealed that nothing substantial has been done to repair the structures which led to the disaster in January.

More than five months after six pupils died, Justice Baidoo said a three classroom block which was started to house the pupils of the Breman Jamra had stalled. He reported the assembly as saying it has run out of cash.

As a result, the children, hundreds of them, have now been moved into a rundown mud structure.

“It is an old building, I’m told it was put up by the community in the 1970s- abandoned about two years ago over safety concerns.

“It looks like a building that would cave in tomorrow. It is showing gaping cracks and leaking roofs,” Baidoo described.

The pupils also complained about the emotional torture and the fear of enduring another disaster anytime they see the cracked building.

They said they could not even concentrate on what the teachers were teaching them due to the poor safety conditions under which they were studying.

The DCE did not deny the poor nature of the mid-shift structure in which the pupils are now studying but promised the Assembly will by next week complete work on the project it started shortly after the disaster.

Isaac Odoom said the project is at the roofing level and the Assembly will take the next seven days to complete it and move the pupils back into the new classroom.

He described as “nice suggestion” an opinion from the news night host for the students to be allowed to stay home at least for a week by which time the new structure would have been completed.

That way the lives of the pupils will not be endangered.

The DCE said he will be discuss the proposal with the District Director of Education.