Sandema SHS cries for help; toilets, bathrooms turned hostel

Students of the Sandema Senior high School in the Bulsa District of the upper East Region are living in abandoned structures described by authorities as “death trap”.

With a student population of 1,962 and 83 staff made up of teaching and none teaching, the School which offers all six courses: Home Economics, Visual Arts, General Arts, Agriculture, Science and Business lacks the needed infrastructure to propel learning.

The Assistant Headmaster of the School, Mr. Kingsley Azantilow who took this reporter round the school lamented about the condition of the school.

He expressed grave concern over the lack of accommodation for staff, access roads, fence for the school, limited classrooms among others.

“Of the 83 staff, the school accommodates only 16 teachers, we have only 42 classrooms requiring 24 more to meet the growing demands,” he said.

He said the lack of fence wall exposes it to all kinds of setbacks including armed robbery, animals feeding on the school’s farms as well as encroachment.

Mr. Azantilow also said the dining hall is not spacious enough to accommodate students.

“The students eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in batches and this puts pressure on time for studies,” he revealed.

He said the school there has a limited number of toilet facilities on the campus.

“The classrooms have no toilets close by and this makes it very difficult for the students anytime they have to use the toilet during classes,” he said.

“With the exception of the masters’ bungalows, there is only one mechanized borehole which serves the Kitchen and the administration block with none for the boys and girls dormitories,” he added.

On accommodation, the Assistant Headmaster expressed disgust at what he called “helpless and hopeless situation for the students”.

Obviously dejected, he said most of the structures here are death traps.

“Some of the dormitories for the girls were awarded eight years ago but, no one can tell why the contractor has still not finished and handed the projects over to the school even though the school is in dire need of accommodation,” he bemoaned.

He revealed that out of frustrations the school invested its internally generated funds in an uncompleted structure to accommodate the girls temporally.

“These girls sleep in very packed rooms, heavily congested but uncompleted,” he said.

“There are no ceilings, no finishing touches, lack of space to accommodate their boxes and bags, lack of security, exposed to the vagaries of the weather, prone to insects and all kinds of reptiles,” he stated.

“At the Mandela, Azantilow and Autuga houses, the girls even sleep in uncompleted toilets and bathrooms” he lamented.

Adding that, the Abakisi house which also houses students from a Youth Centre is a death trap. “This structure has not seen refurbishment since it was built in Nkrumah’s time”

The extremely shattered Assistant Headmaster called on the Ministry of Education to intervene since the plight of the school is inimical to learning.

“I think the contractors must answer as to why they are taking the school through this level of pain and frustration” he said.

“This school deserves better to be able to compete,” Mr. Azantilow concluded.

  Story by Ghana | | Listowell Yesu Bukarson

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