Overpopulation resulting in overcrowded classrooms has compelled students of the Bamahu Junior High School (JHS) in the Wa Municipality to learn under sheds unfit for teaching and learning.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the plight of the school, Mr Adams Yahaya Jiga, the Assemblymember of the Bamahu Electoral Area, said the overcrowded classrooms was affecting effective teaching and learning in the school.
“Last year, over 100 students came from the primary school to join JHS 1 and you can imagine the situation with over 100 students sitting in a normal classroom”, he said.
“JHS 1 & 2 equally has over 50 students in one classroom and this is way beyond the recommended 35 students in a classroom”, the Assemblymember added. As a result, Mr Jiga led authorities of the school to construct three sheds so they could divide the students in each classroom into two to enable them use the sheds in order to ease the congestion in the classrooms and improve learning.
He justified the importance of the action and that it was necessary especially in this era of COVID-19 where physical distancing had become more important in controlling the spread of the disease.
Meanwhile, according to the Assembly member, a nicely constructed building belonging to Ghana Post, which was just next to the school had been standing idle for about 10 years now.
He said they appealed to the authorities of the Ghana Post to release the building for the school to use temporarily until they get a new 3-Unit classroom block, but their request was turned down.
“Myself, the Chief and his elders then applied to the Wa Municipal Assembly to intervene so that Ghana Post will release the building to the school temporary, but the Assembly responded that the building was not under their control”, Mr Jiga said.
He said Bamahu community was now an urban centre meaning the population of the JHS would keep increasing and the single 3-Unit classroom block would not be able to contain the population.
Mr Jiga said the school was therefore in dire need of an additional 3-Unit classroom block and appealed to government, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and individuals who have the capacity to come to the aid of the school.
“We are not happy about the situation at all and we appeal for urgent help”, he said and noted that with the sheds, anytime it was raining classes was disrupted.
Meanwhile, Mr Yussif Abdul-Rahim, the Head Teacher of Bamahu JHS disclosed that another challenge confronting the school was open defecation saying, “Majority of the community members defecate in a small forest just right in front of the school”.
He said the pungent smell emanating from the forest area often make the school environment uncomfortable, adding that “We often feel embarrassed anytime a visitor comes to the school”.
The Head Teacher said all efforts to stop the people from defecating in the forest proved futile and therefore appealed to the Municipal authorities to intervene