BY Abubakari Ibrahim Wangar
Northern Star Community Day Senior High School in Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region is in crucial need of infrastructure to help enhance teaching and learning and realize its vision and mission.
The school, which was established in 2012 by a group of Islamic teachers, was taken over by government later to help improve academic delivery and promote Ghana’s community day school policy.
However, it has since been left on its own without receiving any government intervention, apart from a mechanized borehole provided by the Wa Municipal Assembly.
The situation has induced overcrowding among students in the few classrooms and displaced teachers who are compelled to sit under trees to do marking or wait for their turn to teach due to lack of space.
The students are scrambled in a few classrooms of a 3-unit uncompleted structure built by staff and community members when the school was started and remain the only classroom block for the school.
Teachers are therefore forced to merge, for example, Business and General Arts students numbering nearly 100,in a single classroom, raising safety concerns and outbreak of diseases.
Ghana News Agency (GNA) visit on Monday revealed the school lacks many learning facilities including classrooms, library, computer laboratory, staff common room, washrooms, science laboratory and tables and chairs for students and staff.
Master Baarikoh Amos, the Senior Prefect of the School told the GNA, “The situation whereby over 70 students sit in a single small class is not good. It does not enhance our learning skills. We don’t feel comfortable whilst writing, and it causes a lot of problems for us. It also causes distraction during teaching.”
Ms Banaamwini Rahama, a student, also lamented about the acute shortage of furniture, saying, “We don’t have enough desks to sit on, so it’s affecting us a lot. We need enough desks, so we can do individual work during class assignments and examinations.”
Mr Saeed A. Faruk, the Headmaster of the Community Day School, confirmed the concerns raised by his students when contacted by GNA, saying that he was equally worried about the myriad of challenges overwhelming the school.
He expressed the fear that if authorities failed to intervene quickly, the school might not be able to admit additional students in the next academic year.
“With all the prospects that we have, we are confronted with so many challenges. Prominent among them is need for classrooms. If you go into our classrooms now we will have not less than 70 students in one class and it’s because we don’t have enough classrooms,” he said.
Mr Faruk added that teachers also did not have office space which was something affecting their morale to deliver and raise productivity.
“Again we do not have an office space for our teachers. Teachers are often seen sitting under the tress to prepare for their lesions and then also mark assignments and class exercises given, ”he said.
A small room, initially meant for caretaker of the school mosque constructed by Iqra Foundation, is being used as office space for the Headmaster who shares with staff.
Both the school authorities and students made passionate appeal to government, philanthropists and other benevolent corporate organizations to come to their aid to address challenges confronting them.
The Headmaster expressed optimism that the school could do better if the challenges were mitigated, stressing that, “education delivery is a shared responsibility,” and urged stakeholders to support and revamp the school.