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General News of Thursday, 16 June 2016

Source: Today Newspaper

Weed smokers set Mepe RC JHS on fire

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A group of weed smokers on Thursday, June 9, 2016 set ablaze Classroom ‘B’ of Mepe Roman Catholic (R/C) Junior High School in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region.

The unfortunate incident, which occurred around 8:30 p.m., on that said day, in the process, destroyed many teaching and learning materials.

Today gathered that the gang burnt the classroom with the expectation that the central government, through the Ghana Education Service (GES), would be compelled to build a new school facility.

The development, this paper gathered, has put fear in many of the pupils, and equally affecting academic work.

Speaking to Today, some of the residents stated that the practice of wee smoking in Mepe R/C JHS was no secret at all.

They claimed that the group openly smoke the stuff under trees on the school compound when classes were not in session (mostly in the evening), noting that all efforts by the authorities to stop them have proved futile.

According to them, they only noticed the fire after it had completely razed down the classroom.

“These desks, chairs, and blackboards which have been burnt cost thousands of Ghana cedis,” the residents told Today, adding that the school authorities were not even around at the time when the classroom was set on fire to help douse it.

The residents also indicated that there was very little they could do as the classroom was roofed with thatch.

Some of the school children who spoke to Today on Monday, June 13, 2016 expressed regret about the situation.

They therefore urged the community leaders to impress upon the security agencies to assist in flushing out wee smokers who use the school as their hideout to commit nefarious activities.

Meanwhile a recent visit to Mepe R/C JHS by Today showed that scores of pupils were still studying under mud structures whilst the on-going building of a new three-classroom block facility to replace the old school facility had come to a standstill.

The paper learnt that the entire project was on the priority list of President John Dramani Mahama.

And it was in fulfillment of the president’s campaign promise to deliver social amenities to the people of North Tongu constituency, which is considered as one of the electoral “World Banks” of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), but was abandoned.

Today further observed that the foundation blocks to undertake the project had also been left at the mercy of the weather.

Today learnt that while some of the pupils were using the school’s deplorable mud buildings as makeshift classrooms, others were forced to use bamboo sticks to support the dilapidated structure which was built in 1977.

That situation, Today established, was seriously hampering the work of teachers in the school.

And according to the teachers they will be able to give off their best if the school project was completed.

They noted that absenteeism and truancy was affecting learning due to challenges pupils go through on daily basis.

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