Food suppliers are threatening to cause the arrest of the headteachers of the Twin-City Special School and the Sekondi School for the Deaf, all in the Western Region, for non-payment of food supplies worth GH₵70,000.00.
The situation has resulted from government’s inability to release funds for the upkeep of the children as well as meet other administrative expenses at the two schools, leaving the schools with a population of 436 pupils and students to survive on the benevolence of corporate and religious bodies as well as individuals.
Caregivers say support has not been very reliable.
The Sekondi School for the Deaf owes food suppliers an amount of GH₵50,000, while Twin-City Special School owes GH₵20,000.
The funding difficulties aside, facilities available for teaching and non-teaching staff are in a deplorable state making the living conditions unattractive and unhealthy.
The headmaster of the Sekondi School for the Deaf, Mr. Kofi Nti Frimpong sleeps on a student mattress placed on a bunk bed in the porch of the Audio Assessment Centre due to lack of accommodation.
There is also overcrowding in the dormitory as boys and girls share the same facility which according to them was contrary to the regulations of the Ghana Education Service (GES) as the GES requires at least 100 meters interval between the dormitories of the boys and girls.
According to Mr. Frimpong, sometimes, the boys take advantage of the situation and engage in promiscuous behaviour. Caregivers therefore regularly stay awake at night to keep the watch and ensure nothing untoward happens.
He described the situation as critical, which required urgent attention for the continued running of the schools.
Mr Frimpong said when school reopened this term, they had to delay admitting in-mates because there were no funds to run the school, saying “the term’s feeding and administration grants have not been paid, more so, only 50 per cent of the money for the term’s grant was paid last year and this term nothing and we keep feeding the children on credit.”
At the Twin-City Special School, the headteacher, Mrs. Elizabeth Ameworwor said the situation at the special school was no different from the School for the Deaf.
“The food supply is on credit, no funding for administrative and maintenance of vehicles, inadequate staff accommodation for teachers and non-teaching staff, inadequate classrooms, which did not allow the effective running of the school,” she said.
When the Daily Graphic toured the school, facilities for the headteacher, girls’ dormitory and staff accommodation, which had been under construction since 1992 were yet to be completed.
The contractors for the head teachers’ bungalow and the staff accommodation and dining hall are not on site.