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Opinions of Monday, 4 November 2013

Columnist: Adjetey, Emmanuel

Hohoe SDA JHS In Need

*By Adjetey Emmanuel*

I have observed with keen interest how our public schools are being treated and how pupils who find themselves in these schools are abandoned to their fate. Our public school system has been left unattended to and nobody seems to care about their problems.

In Ghana, some public schools especially those in our remote communities have been neglected for long. For my time being in Hohoe SDA JHS for my national service, it appears the government has deserted the above-mentioned school for some time now. The said school is not in any bad shape regarding its structure but it lacks a lot in relation to learning materials. In fact, the school lacks learning materials.

The SDA JHS is a single stream basic school located in Low-Cost, Hohoe, with a population not more than One Hundred and Forty five (145) students. But I still don't understand why a school with such a population should lack the requisite learning materials. To my surprise, I thought otherwise when I first got to the school; its real name had been replaced with "HIPC BENEFIT 2004". It's obvious the building was built during ex-president Kufour's administration but the question is, is our country still a Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC)? Or is the name "HIPC BENEFIT" adversely having an impact on the school?

Now back to the problems identified, the school has no library. Ever since I noticed this, I have been wondering how these students are going to read on their own or even borrow some books to their various homes. How can these pupils read effectively to acquire the basic vocabularies that will help their English speaking proficiencies? As a matter of fact, the absence of the library has really posed a big challenge to these poor students. It always saddens my heart when I see these students loitering around during their free periods. Owing to this problem, many of these students find it very difficult to express themselves in English before the teachers or even in front of their own colleagues. It's always a 'grammatical warfare' in the class whenever a question is asked. Why should this happen to these poor pupils? We all know, Rome wasn’t built in a day but the builders started with a strong foundation.

Besides, the school also lacks an Information and Computer Technology (I.C.T) lab. In this our modern times and age, one must be well equipped with information technology before one can fit well into the system. These students from ‘weak’ background cannot fully learn the computer on their own they need to be guided but yet the computers which will facilitate their learning have not been provided. How are they going to acquire the practical training in the I.C.T? I have been in the above-named school for almost two months now and anytime it is I.C.T period, the teacher has to illustrate everything on the chalkboard.

Worst of it all, the school cannot even benefit from a common chalk. The teachers are always complaining there are no chalks for them to write with. It's totally true. As a matter of fact, I’m going through the same situation here. And surprisingly, anytime the headmaster goes to the district education office he comes back to say there are no chalks there. Is this not serious? This situation leaves these teachers with no other option than to buy the chalks using their own pocket monies. For how long would this situation continue? The teachers cannot continue to be buying the chalks forever something ought to be done as early as possible.

Furthermore, the staff common room of this school is also not spacious enough. As a result of this, most of the teachers prefer sitting on the veranda than to sit in the small room which even lacks a ceiling or standing fan. Others also prefer sitting under trees and that's where I prefer sitting too. Besides, we are always not comfortable when the rain threatens to fall but the truth is we don't have any choice. The headmaster is always left alone in that small cubicle to rather use there as his office since he has no office of his own. Is this what teachers have to go through after they have finished teaching?

Governments that take on power do not pay much attention to these marginalised schools. But honestly speaking, some public schools need much attention than others particularly those in our relegated communities. Most administrators of these public schools care less about the future well-being of these schools. You and I know that, our public schools admit majority of people especially the less privileged ones in our societies and if well managed, many poor people will be able to have a reasonable level of education thereby leading to an increase in the literacy rate in the country. Quality education is a right and not a privilege and must therefore be accessible to everyone irrespective of ethnicity, gender, religion and social class.

* By: Adjetey Emmanuel*

* The writer is a Freelance Journalist *

* Email: *

* Tel: 0247265478/0236678077*