E/R: Parents withdrawing children from Onyanfunso Basic Sch. over collapsing building
Parents in Onyanfunso and other surrounding communities are withdrawing their children from the Onyanfunso M/A Basic School in the West Akim Municipality in the Eastern Region due to the perilous condition of the school’s buildings.
The school, constructed in 1962 with mud by the community has never seen any major renovation, thereby deteriorating to near collapse.
The school serves five farming communities; Parkeso, Adeiso, Aduasenso No1 and Aduansenso No.2, and Onyanfunso.
Although the classes start from kindergarten to class six, the classrooms are only three, therefore, classes are merged while those in the lower primary study in an Apostolic Church building.
Teachers at lower primary write on tables converted as teaching boards. The mud classroom blocks are near collapse with tattered and ripped-off roofs.
Academic work is disrupted whenever it rains.
The perilous state of the school building is discouraging parents from enrolling their children in the school while others have withdrawn their kids for fear that the school building will collapse on them. This has reduced the population of the school from 139 in 2020 to 62 currently.
One of the pupils lamented that “we stop learning whenever it rains, when the sun is high too we struggle because the roofs have been ripped off. Our books are soaked when it rains unexpectedly, we ran to the church to seek shelter. We return to class after the rains. it has rained today, look at my uniform. It is drenched we are lucky today is Friday. So we are pleading to the President, we respect him soo much so he should come to our aid.”
The Headteacher of the school Dzamasi Thomas said teaching and learning are always disrupted with fears that the rainy season will impede academics due to the condition of the school.
“Whenever it rains, we evacuate the kids to a church building here. We have to move all the kids to that place, which means you cannot continue teaching. It has been very tough for us. This rainy season if the situation remains the same then academic work will come to a halt. For we teachers we are doing our best, we encourage each other not to seek reposting that the situation will be better. But when we ask the parents to allow their children to attend school they berate us that we should bring our children to sit in the deathtrap of a school,” the Headteacher said.
He expressed fears the school may collapse if the situation remains unchanged considering the rate at which parents are withdrawing their children.
The Chairman of the School’s Management Committee Alex Takyi expressed worry over the government’s neglect of the school. He appealed to NGOs and philanthropists to come to their aid.
The assembly member of the area Alex Oppong, and the Ghana Education Service have not responded to their numerous letters for support.
The absence of a teachers bungalow is also a major worry as teachers commute about 15 Kilometers from Asamankese to the village mostly by foot and motorbike daily.