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Regional News of Monday, 8 March 2010

Source: GNA

Senior High Schools in Upper West face accommodation challenges

Wa, March 8, GNA - Senior High Schools in the Upper West region are facing accommodation challenges making the admission of new students for the next academic year an arduous task, Mr. Fabian Balieb, the Regional Director of Education, has said.

He said inadequate classroom and dormitory structures to accommodate many students that would be placed in the schools by the Computerized School Selection and Placement System would be the biggest challenge. Mr Balieb said the system had placed more students in the schools without the corresponding provision of classrooms and dormitory accommodation thereby creating congestion in most of the schools. Mr. Baba Osman, the Upper West Regional Economic Planning Officer, said there were development projects going on in some of the schools but they were not specifically meant for the four-year Senior High School students. He said some of the projects would take years to complete because of budgetary constraints and delays in the payment of contractors as well as the inability of some contractors to deliver the projects on schedule. The Rev Sister Janis Gbiel, the Headmistress of the St. Francis Girls Senior High School at Jirapa, said the school needed assistance in the areas of classroom and dormitory accommodation as well as the provision of potable water.

She said her school would not be able to admit more students in September because of the inadequacies in classroom, dormitory and teachers' accommodation The Headmistress said the school's assembly hall cannot accommodate all the students and appealed to the contractor executing the new assembly hall project to speed up work.

The Rev. Gbiel said there was a water project going on at the school but expressed regret that work was too slow as students continued to spend more time in search of water to the detriment of academic work. At the Wa Senior High Secondary/Technical School, Mr. Richard Y. Gandaa, a science teacher at the school, said science equipment, infrastructural development and inadequate teachers to handle the four-year students were some of the challenges that many of the schools are expecting in September.

A student at Wa Senior High School said the four-year programme was not properly planned and as a result parents and students were now in a confused state as classrooms and dormitories were not available. Master Hashim Abdul-Latif, a Form Three student of the Wa Islamic Senior High School, said two students shared one bed while boxes and other property of the students were left outside. He said some students were sleeping outside due to the lack of dormitory and wondered what the situation would be like during the rainy season.

Mr. Hakimu Iddrissu, a parent, said parents were looking to the government to find classrooms and dormitories as well as equipment and teachers to start the four-year programme.