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Opinions of Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Columnist: Ali, Joseph Oswald

Classes under Sheds and Trees in Wa Sec Tech

For those who believe that schools under trees is the preserve of only basic schools , Wa senior high technical schools is reeling under an infrastructural deficit which has led them to a very sorry state. The school is undergoing serious challenges as far as infrastructure is concerned; one would have thought that school authorities would share in the plight of students hence, call on the appropriate institutions to act. It has become apparent by this in-depth investigation that they are least bothered.

This school is beset with accommodation problems in both classroom capacity and dormitories as well. A painstaking investigation done by this reporter revealed the limited classrooms available hence some of the classes operate under sheds and trees. Those students in sheds have had several challenges during the rainy season and can’t have any respite since the North East trade winds are soon here.

This clearly, is a major challenge to teaching and learning since the weather could be likened to the school’s timetable for these classes.

The workshop which should be used for practical work by the technical students has also been converted into dormitories. Some other classrooms have also been converted into dormitories as well. The schools dining hall also been partitioned to serve as a classroom for two classes.

In an interview with a student of the school (name withheld) he enumerated the many challenges the school is faced with. According to him some of the then classroom now dormitories hold forty students which makes their rooms congested and poorly ventilated. ‘We always have to sit under trees in the afternoon since our rooms are always too warm; we have just one toilet in our school which we all use’.

‘The limited space for accommodation in the school has led to a subtle policy of making boarding students day students if they commit offences in order to ease the burden in dormitories’ a teacher intimated. According to him the headmaster of the school Mr. Gaeten Bayel has instructed them not to speak to issues of the school to the media.

It is instructive to state that this reporter has followed the headmaster severally but he gives excuses at every opportunity to evade questioning. The headmaster has spoken to the media on their infrastructural challenges times past one can’t tell why he is declining to do so at this crucial moment.

The major challenge to accommodation is yet to come since the first year students are yet to arrive and more space would be needed for both dormitory accommodation and classrooms as well. This call to see institutions work has been met with stiff opposition to an extent that a teacher of the school threatened to get this reporter arrested if anything is reported on this story. Though the school is unperturbed all stake holders in the educational sector ought to act now.

Joseph Oswald Ali

Wa