Pupils of Sabiisi Primary study in dangerous classrooms rooms

Estimated read time 5 min read

Every child desires to go to school and study with the hope of becoming someone better one day but the narrative is not the same for pupils of Sabiisi Primary School in the Kasena Nankana East Municipality of the Upper East Region.

This is because while their colleagues in other schools do a full day in school and learn in safe classrooms, pupils of Sabiisi Primary School do barely 3 hours and under daringly dangerous conditions.

The plight of the rural community primary school went from bad to worse when a rainstorm visited their school in May. What was left behind after it was a ripped-off classroom block. Since then, the students have been closing classes from 11 AM when the sun is high and scorching.

Apart from the impact on their studies which could partly be blamed for some of the absenteeism experienced in the school in the last two months, the lives of students and teachers are at risk.

According to the headmaster of the school, they have tried to compensate for the unproductive hours by encouraging teachers to report and begin classes ahead of the normal class hours. However, that is as effective as it may be pleasing to the ears.

Efforts to fix classrooms

According to the headteacher, before the roof was ripped off, they wrote a letter to the Municipal assembly through the District Education Directorate to report the bad nature of the building. When the fear of the worst finally occurred in May, they followed up with pictures of the classrooms. That prompted the Municipal Assembly to send their Municipal Engineer to come and inspect the project.

They are no waiting on the decision of the municipal authorities and hoping that help comes from there.

Sabiisi Primary school

According to school management, when it was just a small part of the block, the parents-teacher association opted to help by billing every child GH₵10 with the hope of raising enough money to re-roof it. The headteacher who spoke to this portal said the estimated amount from the contribution was GH₵3,500 but they have not been able to raise even half of that yet.

The Assembly member for the area, Clement Apuripaya who has been concerned and actively working with the school and the municipal assembly to resolve the issue confirmed that there has not been any update since the engineer came to assess the situation. He said the contribution by the PTA so far is less than GH₵1,500 and would not even be enough provided they got the total amount.

He told this portal that he is still following up with the municipal authorities to find a solution to the problem.

Sabiisi Primary school

Age-old problem

While the latest incident happened in May 2024, the headteacher reported that this is the third time the school’s roof has been ripped off since he joined the school in 2016. He said the authorities always come to fix it but they do not have a fixed time length of doing it. He said on previous occasions, it sometimes took a long time before the school was attended to.

With the building still being left to its fate, the fate of the 408 pupils in the school is in the hands of wishes and hopes. The affected block housed lower primary and kindergarten as well as the headteacher’s office. So while the pupils close classes at 11 AM, the headteacher has been struggling to perform his administrative duties for the past two months.

The Sabiisi Primary, led by the headteacher and the community represented by the assembly member are appealing for expedited actions from the municipal authorities to save the situation. They are also appealing to benevolent individuals and organizations to come to their aid and help mould the futures of the pupils.

Municipal Assembly yet to make a decision

When our reporter contacted the Municipal Engineer, Mr Paul Musah, he acknowledged the Sabiisi primary situation and said he was there to do the assessment. He told this portal that his assessment revealed that the structure is weak and needs replacement.

According to him, the structure was put up by the community with the help of an NGO so even the plastering using the techniques used for the local buildings in the community. All that, he said meant the structure could not be used for a very long time and as a result has begun experiencing the signs of an ageing structure.

Following his assessment, he said the recommendation had been submitted to the municipal assembly. He said he recommended that a new structure be provided for the school but a decision on that would be made based on the capacity of the assembly to finance such a project.

According to Mr Musah, the situation of Sabiisi Primary though heartbreaking, is less severe compared to some of the other schools in the municipality that were affected by the rainstorms this year. He said the assembly is assessing the situation and would come out with the best solution for the school.

Though he could not provide timelines, he the assembly would provide at least a temporary solution to ensure the students learn in a safe environment during the rainy season while they look for a permanent solution to the problem.

NOTE: This is a developing story and more updates will be given as soon as new developments or information come up.

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