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Classes under trees in a Kumasi school
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General News of Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Source: SOLID FM, Kumasi

Classes under trees in a Kumasi school

Pupils of the Atonsu Bethel Presbyterian Experimental Primary School in the Kumasi have been attending classes under trees for two years now since a two-storey classroom block they were using collapsed two years ago.

The pupils were evacuated from the two-storey building, whose lower roofing and upper had caved in before it collapsed, and subsequently sought to settle under trees, hoping that the building would be put back into shape in no time.

In all nine classrooms were affected, leaving only four for use by the school population of eight hundred which keeps on increasing every academic year.

“When there is any negative change in weather such as when the clouds gather or it rains, when it is very windy or the sun is scorching, classes have to come to a complete stop. The pupils also move all these heavy desks out in the morning and pack them into the classroom after classes. We’ve suffered for almost three years. Please rescue us from our predicament” one of the teachers lamented in an interview with this reporter.

Meals prepared for the pupils under the School Feeding Programme are also served under trees which pose health hazard to the children.

Coupled with the problem with infrastructure, the school faces serious health problems as the school is situated near a recently-created refuse collection point of a waste management company whose activities have attracted criticisms from residents in the area.

According to the authorities of the school “the school will have to close down if nothing is done about the issue of sanitation in the area.”

“Oh please help us. This refuse dump is killing us. The smell is all over the place. It worsens when the rains come. Most of my friends are sick. Our teacher is even sick and at home as I speak. It is affecting our education. Please help us” a Class Six pupil disclosed.

The head teacher of the school, Victor Degraft expressed shock at the failure of the Kumasi Metropolitan Authority to relocate the refuse dump which has posed a lot of health problems for the school since it came into being three years ago.

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