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General News of Friday, 10 August 2018


Basic school at Offinso turns ‘snake zoo’

A half completed building for Namong SDA Primary School, at Namong in the Offinso Municipal Assembly of the Ashanti region, has turned into a ‘snake zoological garden’ after it was abandoned in a bush for close to a decade.

The building project started nine years ago after the school’s previous building collapsed by rainstorm in 2005.

The Probe’s visit to the school revealed that, the school with a population of 620 pupils and 19 teachers, still sits under makeshift structures for teaching and learning. Five classrooms for the primary level, and four for the Kindergarten. Right beside the makeshift structures is the uncompleted building which has been left in the bush to ‘house’ snakes.

It was also observed that, the school does not have toilet nor urinal where either pupils or teachers go to ease themselves; but rather resort to the bush to attend to nature’s call.

Briefing The Probe, former head teacher of the Namong SDA Primary School, Mrs. Helena Kusiwaa explained that, the school which was established in 1988 was initially located where the Namong SDA Hospital is now, with six classrooms, an office and a store.

In 2005, a heavy rain demolished the building including the office and store room. This compelled the P.T.A and the Seventh Day Adventist Church to raise a temporal shed for them at their current place. They stayed there with several attempts in finding solution to their collapsed building by consulting the various authorities and stakeholders but all to no avail.

In 2009, their voice was heard and GET Fund started building the said six-classroom block for them. Few months after the construction had started, the building contractor stopped work.

Another contractor took over and continued to the lintel level, but also stopped working on the building with a third contractor taking over in 2016.

“He promised us that by December 31, 2016, he will complete the building.” Mrs. Helena Kusiwaa said.

“When he started plastering the walls, my teachers and I begged him to roof the building for us so that, even if the floor or walls are not plastered, we can manage to use it but he did not listen to us. He stopped coming to the building, complaining that he was not getting his money. Now, we are in 2018, the building is now plastered without a roof and it’s left in the bush,” she noted.

Namong SDA Primary School’s head teacher, Mr. Boateng Stephen, added that, since the makeshift structure was raised, it has become weak that, it now serves as a death trap for pupils and teachers.

About three months ago, one part of the school’s shed, containing five classrooms, collapsed by rainstorm. This is said to have happened at the time the school had closed and there was no casualties.

“Not long ago, one of the pupils got bitten by a snake and if not for the intervention of God, he would have passed out. God being so good, he was saved after he was taken to the Namong SDA Hospital.

“Aside snakes haunting us, we also do not have office to keep our text books and other documents rendering all our text books torn because pupils carry them daily to and from a rented room outside the school,” Mr. Boateng said.

He indicated that due to the poor nature of the Namong SDA Primary School’s makeshift structure, pupils in class one are able to see what goes on in class six, which always attract their attention, whenever an illustrative lesson is going on.

“When it comes to the rainy season, pupils and teachers also suffer greatly from heavy rainstorm and wind. Some people in the community also use the classrooms and compound as toilet. After smoking ‘weed,’ they ease themselves in the classrooms. Some go further by hiding faeces under pupils’ desk,” he lamented.

Mr. Boateng Stephen pleaded with government and philanthropists to come to their aid.

Offinso Municipality Chief Executive, Mr. Solomon Kesse told The Probe that “with the help of the school’s P.T.A, they have raised concrete pillars” and that he had “asked them [parents] to find a tree from their farms so I help them get permit from the Forestry Commission to cut it for the roofing.”

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