It has emerged that the abolishment of the school shift system has created serious congestion in some basics schools within the Accra metropolis due to the lack of adequate infructure.
As a result, some classes have been merged in some schools to meet the new policy directive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), resulting in huge numbers of pupils in class.
A class which is suppose to take 40 pupils is now accommodating about 75 pupils.
This came to light, yesterday when the Deputy Minister of Education, Mahama Ayariga paid a visit to the St Barnabas Anglican Basic School and the Teacher MOTA Basic School, both at Osu, in Accra.
He was accompanied by the Acting Director General of the Ghana Education Service, Ms Benedicta Naana Biney and other officials of the Ministry.
The visit, which formed part of a surprise visit by the Deputy Minister to some basic schools across the country, is to ascertain the infrastructural challenges facing the basic schools and also to learn at first hand the conditions under which teachers taught and children learnt.
It became clear during the visit that both schools lacked text books for Religious and Moral Education as a result.
The teachers rely on private text books, sold on the market.
At the St Barnabas Basic School, Ms Christina Apafo, the Headmistress for Primary ‘A’ said the abolishment of the shift system had creating congestions at the school.
She said due to the inadequate accommodation, the two classes which previously run a shift system had to be merged to meet the policy directive of the AMA.
The congestion, she said was hampering effecting teaching, learning, and supervision.
She appealed to the government to construct more classrooms to address the accommodation challenges facing the school.
Highlighting on other challenges facing the school, Ms Apafo said the numerous entertainment facilities at Osu such as video centres and internet cafes were luring some of the schools pupils from school.
She said, the situation was affecting the academic performance of some of the students, pointing out that the Counseling and Guidance Co-ordinator of the school was counseling the pupils to stop visiting such entertainment centres.
The Headmistress of the MOTA Primary School, Mrs Evelyn Akorfa Hodogbe, enumerated a number of challenges facing the school.
They include shortage of text books, broken furniture, lack of sanitation facilities such as toilet and urinal, and Information Communication Technology centre.
“The lack of a fence wall around the school is creating room for social miscreants to trespass and defecate on the compound,” she stated, and appealed to the government to help create a wall around the school.
The biggest challenge facing the school, Mrs Hodogbe mentioned was lack of water.
She said the school had to buy water on daily basis from water vendors, stressing this is having a huge drain on the finances of the school.
Briefing the journalists after the tour, Mr Ayariga said the tour afforded him the opportunity first to learn at first hand some of the challenges facing the basic schools in the country and this will inform government to initiate strategies to address them.
He said he was impressed about the general level of discipline at the schools and the punctuality of the teachers.
Responding to the problems facing the schools, the Deputy Minister said he would liaise with the Ghana Education Service to address the challenges facing the schools.
“I realise most of the challenges facing the school could be address by the local authorities,” he stated, adding “my Ministry would collaborate with the relevant authorities to address those challenges.”
On the lack of Religious and Moral Education textbooks for the schools, Mr Ayariga said the Ministry of Education would collaborate with the Ghana Education Service to print the text book for the schools.
Touching on the congestion in the schools, the Minister said he would liaise with the AMA and initiate strategies to address the accommodation challenges facing the schools.
He said already the AMA had initiated measures to construct more classrooms for the basic schools in the metropolis.