Since the re-start of multi party democracy in Ghana nearly 20 years ago, various governments continue to boast of huge investments in education. The current government for instance is working hard to improve the quality of education infrastructure, especially in the rural parts of the Ghana where there are schools under trees.
However, the case of pupils of Aputuegya in the Bosumtwi District of the Ashanti Region is different; they have a class room but cannot study in the classroom. The pupils, on a daily routine carry their chairs from other class rooms to study under a shed-like structure made from trees. The Students have to endure this for a long time, simply because their newly constructed class rooms have not been commissioned. The school was constructed about a year ago but has since not been handed to the school for use
Aputuegya D/A primary school is about 3 kilometers from the Bosumtwi district capital, Kuntunase and about 4 kilometers from Kumasi the regional capital. The school is located few meters away from the Aputuegya main lorry terminal. The first time I visited this school was last academic term, it was raining and teaching and learning came to an abrupt end. The reason? Most of the classes were studying under trees.
Seven class rooms are studying under trees, in fact the only thing that separates the classes under trees from the main road and the terminal is a gutter.
I wondered how these pupils study under these conditions, the noise from vehicular movement, coupled with their honking, noise from hawkers and other passers-by.
The downpour of the rains makes learning under these conditions unbearable. Schools have returned from vacations and the pupils are not comfortable returning to the class rooms under trees but they have no option. I engaged some of them and this is what they told me.
After speaking to these pupils, I decided to walk around the school’s compound; there I say a beautiful building, I believe this is what the pupils told me about. It was a newly constructed class room block for those studying under stress.
The classroom block was completed sometime last academic year and is not only in use because it has not been commissioned and the school children have had to continue studying under stress.
I couldn’t believe it, so I decided to ask the headmistress madam Mary Veronica Bedu, Who also confirmed what I didn’t want to believe to be the case.
My quest to understand why the students study under trees whiles there is a block for them caused confusion between the headmistress and the Regional Education director, Mr. Sarfo Kantanka. The regional director accused the head of creating what he describes as ‘artificial school under trees’.
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