Abubakari Ibrahim Wangara, GNA
Wa, June 12, GNA – The Northern Star Community Day Senior High School in the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region is in need of infrastructure to help enhance teaching and learning and realize its vision and mission.
The School, which was established in 2012 by a group of Islamic teachers, was taken over by government later to help improve academic delivery and promote Ghana’s community day school policy.
However, it has since been left on its own without receiving any government intervention, apart from a mechanized borehole provided by the Wa Municipal Assembly.
The situation has induced overcrowding among students in the few classrooms and displaced teachers who are compelled to sit under trees to mark or wait for their turn to teach due to lack of space.
The students are clamped in a few classrooms of a three-unit uncompleted structure built by staff and community members when the School was started and remain the only classroom block.
Teachers are therefore forced to merge, for example, Business and General Arts students numbering nearly 100, in a single classroom, raising safety concerns.
The visit of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Monday revealed that the school lacked many learning facilities including classrooms, library, computer laboratory, staff common room, washrooms, science laboratory and tables and chairs for use of both students and staff.
Master Baarikoh Amos, the Senior Prefect of the School told the GNA, “The situation whereby over 70 students sit in a single small class is not good.
“It does not enhance our learning skills. We don’t feel comfortable while writing, and it causes a lot of problems for us. It also causes distraction during teaching.”
Ms Banaamwini Rahama, a student, also lamented about the acute shortage of furniture, saying, “We don’t have enough desks to sit on, so it is affecting us a lot. We need enough desks, so we can do individual work during class assignments and examinations”.
Mr Saeed A. Faruk, the Headmaster of the School, confirmed the concerns raised by his students when contacted by GNA, saying that he was equally worried about the myriad of challenges overwhelming the school.
He expressed fear that if authorities failed to intervene quickly, the school might not be able to admit additional students in the next academic year.
“With all the prospects that we have, we are confronted with so many challenges. Prominent among them is the need for classrooms. If you go into our classrooms now, we have not less than 70 students in one class and it is because we do not have enough classrooms,” he said.
Mr Faruk added that teachers also did not have office space which was affecting their morale to deliver and raise productivity.
“We do not have an office space for our teachers. Teachers are often seen sitting under the tress preparing for their lessons and also when they mark assignments and class exercises,” he said.
The Headmaster was optimistic that the School could do better if the challenges were mitigated, stressing that, “education delivery is a shared responsibility,” and urged stakeholders to support and revamp the school.
A small room, initially meant for caretaker of the School Mosque, is being used as office space for the Headmaster who shares it with some staff.
Both the School’s authorities and students appealed to the government, philanthropists and other benevolent corporate organizations to come to the aid of the School.