Regional News of Monday, 21 April 2014
The persistence of some unknown residents of Asuboah, a town in the Asante-Akim South District of the Ashanti region to use classrooms of the district’s Junior High School as their place of convenience has finally compelled school authorities to move the classroom to a church.
The Asuboa Methodist Junior High School is one of the last buildings along the road leading to the Asuboah town surrounded by trees and some bushes. For months now, the staff and students report to school to the unpleasant spectacle and stench of faeces deliberately smeared all over their classrooms.
The District Education Directorate, which ordered the relocation of classes to the Methodist church, said several meetings held with opinion leaders and community members to bring the act to a halt had yielded no positive results. The Education Directorate says it could no longer allow pupils and teachers to be exposed to such health hazard, hence its decision to order for teaching and learning to be shifted to the Methodist Church.
Headmaster of the Asuboah Methodist JHS, Opuni Boateng, told Ultimate Radio’s Nana Oye Diabene that, he had no option than to comply with the directive since he was also overwhelmed by the situation.
“It started somewhere late December last year, but we never bothered and always instructed the pupils to sweep and scrub the mess for classes to go on. As early as February this year, it started again. At a point, we were fed up and decided not to even scrub again. It only took the intervention of the assembly member and the unit committee chairman who organized for the place to be cleaned up before we went back to school,” he narrated.
He said just a day after the clean up, “the faeces were smeared on the chalk board but not on the floor. The following day it was on the tables of the teachers. The next day it was on the boxes and this forced the District Director who took the issue upon himself to close the school.”
He admitted that the whole development beats their imagination, as according to him, the school and its staff have no qualms or scores to settle with any member or groups in the community.
The appalling situation has sadly begun having a toll on the quality of education in the district. Some of the students said the seriousness with which teachers taught in the school had declined since they moved into the church.
“Some of the teachers think we are not in school so they will not teach us as well as we were in school,” one student lamented.
“We always have to carry our chairs to the church and it is affecting us because the chairs are many. We want to learn in our school,” a frustrated student emphasized.
Another student who was equally worried about the whole issue told Nana Oye Diabene, “We have been learning at the chapel because some people come here for aquatic abortion here and because of that, some of the teachers decide not to come back to school. For that matter, we want government to come and complete our school for us and fix doors and windows.”
Form three students preparing for the next Basic Education Certificate Examination were particularly worried about the effect this could have on their preparations.
Assembly member for the area, Peter Kwame Ahenkorah, who shared his frustrations with Ultimate Radio, said he could not explain reasons behind the activities of the persons behind the dastardly act.
“The district assembly has constructed a twenty seater KVIP for the community which was opened not so long ago; so it is a bit strange to me that the people of this area can use the school building as a toilet facility.”
Mr. Ahenkorah said he suspected some uneducated hooligans to be behind the classroom defecation. He said he and his assembly members had almost become like watchmen keeping guard to grab any of the perpetrators, but to no avail.
He told Ultimate Radio; even the community watchdog committee in the area has not been able to produce anyone as a suspect for the act.
He proffered that the only solution to the problem was to have doors and windows fixed in the classrooms, but all his efforts at getting the District Chief Executive to provide some doors and window frames had failed.