Most pupils at the Balungu-Nabiisi School in the Bongo District sit on the bare floor to learn due to lack of furniture.
A Ghana News Agency (GNA) visit to the school, observed that some of the classes in both the Primary and Junior High Schools did not have furniture, thereby, compelling the pupils to sit on the floor during lesson hours while some classes had few furniture with three to four other pupils also spotted sitting on one desk.
The GNA further observed that the kindergarten and Primary One levels, which had about 100 and 110 pupils respectively, had no single desk, forcing the children to sit on the floor to learn.
According to the enrolment figures in the various classes in the primary section, primary two to six had 81, 96, 88, 80 and 64 pupils respectively with only 28, 30, 26, 22 and 27 desks, thereby, compelling three to four pupils to sit on one desk and others on the floor.
At the JHS level, the about 80 pupils in the JHS one had no single desk while the JHS Two and Three had few number of desks, further compelling them to perch either three or four on one desk.
Besides, the GNA investigations revealed that due to inadequate classrooms, the management of the school, particularly the primary section, converted a staff common room into a classroom to accommodate the more than 100 kindergarten pupils, which caused overcrowding and unhygienic conditions thereby, denying them the right to learn how to write.
Mr Thomas Azure Alukuke, Head Teacher in charge of the Primary School, said that the situation had adverse effects on the development of the children and did not guarantee the expected good academic foundation for them as future managers of the country.
He disclosed that due to the familiarity on the floor, the pupils found it difficult to sit on desks to write whenever they had the opportunity to do so, making them develop poor handwriting and spinal cord problems.
Mr Joshua Ageezabre, the Head Teacher in charge of the JHS section also indicated that about 50 pupils had been turned away due to the unbearable conditions the school found itself.
The Head Teachers further disclosed that the lack of teachers’ accommodation, coupled with the breakdown of the Bongo-Balungu Bridge had affected academic work negatively as teachers’ absenteeism was high during the rainy season.
They said some of the teachers stayed across the bridge and whenever it was threatening to rain the teachers had to abandon classes in order to cross the bridge and some do not even come to school at all on certain days when it threatens to rain.
The Head Teachers, however, disclosed that the community had voluntarily given out a piece of land for the construction of the teachers’ accommodation, but the school did not have the resources to build it.
According to the Head Teachers, all efforts to have their challenges addressed have proven futile as their pleas to the Bongo District Education Directorate and the Bongo District Assembly had not witnessed any positive response.
They, therefore, appealed to other state institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations, philanthropists, individuals among others to assist the school to acquire some furniture as well as build accommodation for the teachers to enhance academic activities to give proper foundation to the children.