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Regional News of Monday, 7 March 2022

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Conflicts in Bawku, Doba and Kandiga causing low turnout in schools – GES director

Upper East Regional Director of Education, Edward Azure Upper East Regional Director of Education, Edward Azure

Correspondence from Upper East region

The Upper East Regional Director of Education, Edward Azure, has said conflicts in Bawku, Doba and Kandiga, were gravely affecting education in the region.

Mr Azure said since the conflicts ensued, effective teaching and learning have taken a nosedive as schools in these areas have started recording low turnout among teachers and pupils.

He said teachers and pupils are fearing for their lives and being unable to concentrate in class.

Mr Azure, who said this when he addressed the gathering at the regional celebration of Ghana’s 65th Independence Day at Navrongo, said the conflicts were having psychological consequences on both pupils and teachers.

He said many teachers and pupils have been left traumatized by the continued conflicts in these areas.

Azure said if education was to blossom in the region, conflicting parties in the region had to cease fire immediately.

He used the occasion to call for peace from these troubled areas so that teaching and learning could bounce back effectively.

“Better learning outcomes blossom on a peaceful state of mind and environment. However, the recent happenings in Bawku and between Kandiga and Doba is disheartening. Schools that are found in these places have started recording low turn up of both pupils and teachers. How can effective teaching and learning go on when both teachers and pupils are psychologically traumatized?" he quizzed

"Let us be mindful that violence is a virus that quickly mutates. Therefore, I would like to appeal to the chiefs and good people of Bawku, Kandiga and Doba to let peace reign. For us to bounce back better, we need absolute peace,” he stated.

Other challenges

Azure said although the region was making progress in education, there were challenges that needed to be addressed by the government.

He stated that schools in the region were suffering a serious furniture deficit. He said the ratio for both seating and writing places for kindergarten was 0.3 and 0.5 for primary schools. For Junior High Schools, the ratio was 0.5 for seating and 0.6 for writing places.

The director said the deficit was impeding smooth teaching and learning which resulted in poor learning outcomes.

Another challenge the director enumerated was inadequate infrastructure. He said between the years 2019/2020, the Pupils Classroom Ratio in the region was 72, with 23% of classrooms needing major repairs to accommodate kindergarten, primary and junior high schools.

For office accommodation, Azure stated that most municipal and district directorates in the region faced a challenge. He revealed that the Kassena-Nankana municipal and Builsa South, Binduri, Tempane, Nabdam, Bolgatanga East and Pusiga districts were the most affected. He added that the remaining directorates which had offices were also in deplorable conditions and needed repairs.

“Our greatest headache is the inadequate furniture situation in the schools. This impedes effective teaching and learning. Another area of concern is the inadequate physical infrastructure. Aside these, most municipal and district education directorates lack office accommodation.”

Preservation of Ghanaian values

The Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu in his anniversary address, called for the preservation of the unique Ghanaian values and cultural norms.

He said Ghana’s democracy and rule of law were derived from these values long before the inception of colonialism and needed to be well preserved for future generations.

Yakubu noted that a deviation from these values and cultural norms would place the country in jeopardy. He added that it was through the role of parents and teachers that values such as honesty, tolerance, respect for the elderly, peace and harmony, could be instilled in the younger generation.

He said parents, teachers and the elderly must not only preach the values and virtues but must practice them and be role models for the younger generation.

“Teacher, parents and all stakeholders have vital role to play in spreading the message of honesty, tolerance, respect for the elderly, peace and harmony. Our teachers and elders must not only be preaching these virtues but must be seen to practice them and be role models for communities and our children to emulate.”

The regional minister also called for concerted efforts in the fight against waste pollution. He said the filthy from waste materials in our communities put us in greater danger of diseases outbreaks such as cholera, malaria, among others.

He said the dangers waste pollution put communities in can be avoid if efforted are teamed to keep communities clean.

He also called for efforts against bushfires and the use of social media to cause fear and panic. For this cause, Yakubu appealed to traditional leaders, opinion leaders and the youth to lead a crusade against these anti-social tendencies that can derail development.

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