Accessing quality education at Wellembele in the Sissala East District in the Upper West Region is a daunting challenge for the 460 pupils of the Dagbasu Primary and Junior High School (JHS).
With no classrooms and furniture, the school currently holds classes under trees while the pupils sit on stones, bikes or on the bare floor.
Lack of infrastructure and furniture
During a visit by the Daily Graphic to the school last Tuesday, it was found that construction works on two six-unit classroom blocks started in 2013 which were meant to serve as classrooms, had been abandoned at the lintel level.
The contractor, Zoom Enterprise, a Tumu-based company, at the time of the visit, was not on site.
The school also lacks potable water, teaching and learning aids, as well as playing materials for the pupils.
Currently, the few teachers, most of whom are volunteers, are using their ingenuity to improvise teaching and learning materials, as well as the playing items for the pupils to play with.
Why the school is not closed down
Briefing the Daily Graphic, the Headmaster of Dagbasu JHS, Mr Batong Dimah Yussif, explained that the management of the school felt it would be a disservice to the community to close down the school based on the unavailability of the basic facilities because of the number of children in the community.
He said a decision to close down the school would have meant that all the children would be out of school and that explained the decision to hold classes under trees with virtually no furniture for them to sit or put their books on to write.
The school, he said, started in 2007 from kindergarten and had progressed to JHS.
According to the headmaster, classes always came to an abrupt end and the children allowed to go home whenever there was any threat of bad weather.
In addition, he said, the school lacked professional teachers and the few who were around offered their services voluntarily.
The Chairman of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), Mr Nuhu Jalu, lamented the absence of decent facilities, learning and playing materials for the children, as well as other logistics for the rural schoolchild.
He said the availability of such logistics would enhance regular daily attendance at the school.
The Assembly Member for the area, Mr Daniel Dauda Tanko, also appealed to the various contractors and their workers to return to site in order to complete the projects so that the disadvantaged and poor children would have decent places to study.
Also in the fray is the Wellembele Community Senior High School (SHS) which was started in 2014 with the aim of expanding physical access and focus on the underserved rural communities, as well as providing the needed incentives for teenagers to enrol in SHS, but which has also been abandoned at the foundation level. The Contractor, Haysen Ghana Limited, an Accra-based company, was, however, on site.