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Regional News of Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Asesewa SHS classroom block nears collapse

Danger looms at Asesewa Senior High School in the Eastern Region as a 12-unit classroom block is on the verge of collapse, five years after its inauguration.

The defective structure funded by the Ghana Education Trust Fund in the Upper Manya Krobo District has left the school in dire need of classrooms.

Authorities have been compelled to conduct lessons in old, dilapidated structures, while teachers sit under trees for their office and common room.

Currently, Parts of the falling building hangs loosely, posing threat to life and property.

The block was shut down as a result of structural defect identified six months after it was inaugurated in 2012.

Authorities were compelled to evacuate the headmaster, administration staff, teachers and over 200 students who were occupying the building.

Officials of Architectural and Engineering Services Limited recommended closure of the block for the contractor to rectify the defects after they detected concrete holding the ground floor to the top has caved in, leaving the iron rods electrical cables hanging loosely.

The situation is the same in the rest of the classrooms.

The present situation has created overcrowding in an already-dilapidated old classroom block while office accommodation has become a challenge.

Staff now use the school’s library and under shady trees for office and staff common room.

For fear of an accident, wood slabs have been used to support the building.

Assemblyman for the area, John Kofi Tetteh, says the contractor has abandoned the project and all efforts to get him fix the problem have been fruitless.

" All of us in our community we are concerned but who to talk to. The chiefs have come in. It is either we collapse it,build a new one or we renovate it but we don't have funds. The headmaster invited the contractor to come and do something about it but you can see the gravels, sand but I don't know what happened and the contractor also left the site "

" We want government to come to our aid because it can happen. One day one it will collapse and kill a lot of people ". He lamented.

Deputy eastern regional minister, Joseph Tetteh, who is also MP for the area, recommends the whole structure be pulled down for reconstruction.

" I am highly concerned about the block. I have gone there to check. I will even recommend that we pull it down because it is dangerous." He stated.

District Chief Executive, Felix Nartey Odjao, who is also a former teacher, however, wants to buy time for AESL to re-examine the building for appropriate action.

" I have been a teacher in that school before so I know the situation there. It started during the previous government but I don't want to blame anybody for now. I have told my engineer to do an assessment of the building then I can liase with AESL and determine what we can do. We can't use the assembly's money without consulting those concerned. Now that they are reopening school I will talk to the headmaster so that we can find a temporal place for the students". He asserted.