By Caesar Abagali, Tamale
Tamale, March 22, GNA – Five hundred and three (503) students of the St Charles Senior High School in Tamale have lost their entire property in a fire that gutted their two-storey dormitory block on Tuesday night.
The fire started at 21:20 hours when all the students were attending preps but due to the extensive nature of the fire, none of them could retrieve anything from their dormitories.
Mr Polycarp Kuusokub Beyelle, the Headmaster of the school told the media that the damage was beyond the school’s management and appealed for immediate help to ensure smooth academic work.
He said the entire roof and ceiling of the block including the ground floor had been totally burnt while, property comprising books, food and clothing of the students was also destroyed in the fire.
“This needs the intervention of the public to help restore hope in the affected students.”
Alhaji Mohammed Haroun Cambodia, the Northern Regional Director of Education bemoaned the rate of fire outbreaks and advised schools in the region to ensure proper and constant fire auditing to avert any eventuality.
He advised the students not to give up because of the situation especially the affected final year students but should study hard to pass their examination, ‘Since every misfortune can be a blessing’.
Alhaji Cambodia has ordered the Northern Regional office of the Ghana Education Service to release 100 students’ mattresses for the affected final year students while plans were underway to source secondhand clothing and exercise books for all the affected students.
Master Julius Yinimi Adongo, a second year Agriculture Student told the GNA that he was in charge of locking and opening the dormitory before and after preps.
He said he was on his way back to open the dormitory around 21:25 hours GMT when he saw smoke coming out of dormitory seven and before he could raise an alarm the flames had spread very fast to other dormitories.
“I am in charge of locking and opening our dormitory and during preps no student is allowed to stay in the dormitory unless that student is sick. Preps end at 21:30 hours GMT and when I was coming to open that I saw the fire and the smoke were unbearable for us to pick our belongings”, he said.
Meanwhile, management in consultation with the Parent-Teacher Association has asked the first and second year students to go home immediately and report back on March 28.
The final year students who are also affected and have no examination papers to write on Wednesday are to go home and report the following day.