First Presby Basic School In Trouble

Back view of the school. INSET: A container in the middle of garbage

The first basic school established by the Presbyterian missionaries in Akropong-Akuapem is on the verge of collapse.

The school, built in 1843, has seen no major renovation even though it has expanded to a Junior High School facility.

The main primary block built by the missionaries is about collapsing due to its wobbly foundation and life threatening cracks.

Speaking to DAILY GUIDE on Monday, the Head Mistress of the school, Comfort Boafo, said the school is faced with numerous challenges ranging from inadequate classrooms to perennial water shortage.

She said the classrooms have, over the years, developed potholes and severe cracks in the foundation and the building, putting pupils in danger.

Mrs Boafo said the school through its Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) has been able to paint the building and blocked access to the backyard of the primary block due to major cracks in its foundation and staircase.

The school has no modern toilet facility and part of its land is being used as rubbish damp site for the Akuapem South District. This results in puffy smoke when the waste is being burnt, obstructing concentration as it affects breathing and proper ventilation.

The headmistress lamented that this could bring serious health conditions to both staff and pupils.

The Local Manager of the school, Rev. Kingsley Kumi Yeboah, said a letter has been served to the assembly to cease using the place for refuse collection. The sanitation management company, Zoomlion, has agreed to end its operations at the school if a new site was allocated to it.

However, at the time of filing this report, the Zoomlion trash waste bin was still at the school.

The Junior High School which was started three years ago recently sent candidates to sit for their first external examination.

The JHS pupils were accommodated in a facility belonging to the Peace Assembly of the Presbyterian Church.

The space was originally built as church and was given to the school to operate the JHS until the school completed its own facility.

The teachers have therefore used plywood to partition the big church hall into classrooms, making teaching and learning quite uncomfortable as lessons from other classrooms interfere with other classes, thereby causing concentration and assimilation problems for both pupils and teachers.

Mrs. Boafo said the JHS block which was started in 2012 has since not been completed, adding that the school lacked adequate furniture for both staff and pupils as well as text books and had no physical education (PE) accoutrements.

Though school has a population of 752, there is low enrolment at the kindergarten level which has 70 pupils. The headmistress said the situation was due to the fact that the department did not have playing and demonstration materials to aid teaching and learning, so parents prefer to take their kids elsewhere.

She was hopeful that if the right facilities were made available, the school would bounce back to its glory.

Mrs Boafo noted that the school has trained a lot of people who are now well placed in society and therefore called on such persons and other benevolent groups or individuals to come to their aid.

 From Rocklyn Antonio, Akropong

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