Source: Salifu Wononuo & Hafiz Timbile Adams |Radio Waa 92.1FM
Many have said that education is the key to success. Our leaders, past and present, have always maintained that for Ghana to develop there is the need to improve the literacy rate. As a result there have been many policies over the years geared at improving education in Ghana.
The story in Goh however is a sad one. Goh is a farming community in the Wa East District of the Upper West region. Considering education delivery in this community, it will not be out of place to say the people of Goh have been forgotten by the Ghana Education Service (GES), the district assembly and the government. Education in Goh is what elders describe in the local parlance as “diye kyeveng goma” (i.e. take and stop the noise).
The first thing to notice on reaching the premises of Goh Primary School is the near-collapsed school block. The classroom block has part of its roofing ripped off. Windows and doors to the classrooms are all off with just a few hanging on. It can clearly be seen that the base of the building is fast deteriorating, and one would not be wrong to predict its collapse should heavy rains set in. Meanwhile the 3-Unit classroom block is housing students from Primary One to Primary Five. Looking through the open classrooms, one can only see improvised furniture provided through the efforts of the headmaster. The question in the minds of many therefore is, with this kind of basic education do children in Goh have an opportunity to enjoy the Free Senoir High School policy?
The least said about a teachers’ bungalow the better. There is none in the community, and the teachers do not expect any for the time being.
The dilapidated classroom structure would not have been much of a problem if there were teachers in the school to take care of the children in the deprived community. Yuofi Emmanuel is the assistant headmaster of Goh Primary School, and he disclosed that they are only two teachers in the school; himself and the headmaster. According to him, ever since he was posted to the school in 2016, there have not being any improvements in the infrastructure of the school, and the school received no new posting. Narrating the ordeals the they go through in carrying out their duties, Emmanuel who came from Kumasi said “when I came here, to be frank I (wanted) to run away”, but realizing that the people in Goh are Ghanaians and also needed help “I decided to stay and help”.
He also lamented the lack of the necessary teaching and learning materials in the school to aid their work. Emmanuel further disclosed that during the rainy season school going becomes difficult as there is a valley that prevents the children from getting to the school. He said other teachers refused postings to the school because of the bad nature of the school and the fact that the community lacks basic necessities of life. He said his parents would have not allowed him to be there if he had told them the true state of the community he is living in.
Mr. Yuofi Emmanuel called on the Ghana Education Service and the government to not forget the people of Goh. He believes that once they are also Ghanaians the children are also entitled to good education. He also admonished his colleague teachers to accept postings to such rural communities and contribute their quota towards their development.
On his part, former assembly member for the Baayiri Electoral Area, Danaa Kala, said the situation of the Goh School is very worrisome and has therefore called on the government and the general public, especially benevolent organisations, to come to their aid. He disclosed that the school block has been wretched since 2013. He added that the former District Chief Executive at the time, Hon Abudu Karim, promised to award the school for renovation but the promise never materialized. He further noted that the absence of portable drinking water in the school which is far from the community is a drawback for teaching and learning.
The District Chief Executive for the Wa East, Hon Jotie Moses, in an interview with Radio Waa 92.1FM said he is yet to visit Goh community since he took office. He however said he will fast track his visit to the community to ascertain the reality about the school and see how best the assembly can help. Meanwhile the education directorate is yet to comment on the issues regarding the Goh School as efforts to reach them so far proved futile.