Close to four hundred (400) Junior High School students of RIIS Presbyterian Basic “B” school in Koforidua have been displaced after a local assembly of the Presbyterian Church evicted them to convert the classrooms to office accommodation.
The building was released to the school to be used temporarily as a classroom for the Junior High School students some seven years ago however the government has failed to construct a classroom block for the JHS as a GET FUND project has been abandoned.
Teachers and Pupils reported to school on the first day of reopening on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, to surprisingly observe their classrooms undergoing renovation and conversion to office accommodation facility by the Church.
The students became stranded and sat under trees throughout the day as management of the school, Ghana Education Service, and the New Juaben South Municipal Assembly held meetings to provide emergency intervention.
A shift system has been reintroduced as a stop-gap measure to improvise the lower Primary classrooms to accommodate the displaced JHS students.
With the new arrangement, Primary 1 to 3 pupils will attend school in the morning while primary 4 to 6 pupils will come to school in the afternoon.
This shift system would enable the Junior High School students including final years preparing for Basic Education Certificate Examination to have uninterrupted studies.
The New Juaben South Municipal Director of Education Victor Degraft Etsison told Starr news the emergency measure is not the reintroduction of the shift system.
“That is what we have come to meet this morning but I can assure you that Ghana Education Service is on the ground. We’ve made very fast arrangements to ensure that we bring back all the children to the classroom.
The arrangements are such that we made a similar arrangement when covid was very serious and we are making same arrangement so I can assure you and assure the general public in particular that no child will sit under a tree or any canopy. From tomorrow you will see academic work seriously in progress”
The Municipal Education Director appealed to GET FUND to complete an abandoned classroom block project in the school.
The chairman of the Parents and Teachers Association, PTA, Eric Obeng said the school is facing serious infrastructural crises due to the increasing students’ population to the consistently high academic performance by the school, therefore, appealed for expansion of the school’s infrastructure.
Nana Yaw Debrah Assembly Member for Asuofiri electoral area where the school is situated said the situation in the school needs urgent intervention by the government.
He said the reintroduction of the shift system will affect the students.
“It is always hard to complete the syllabus so the introduction of the shift system will make it even more difficult for most teachers to complete the syllabus.
With the shift system, the students will enjoy a maximum of two to three hours in school including break time and other activities, but when they are together without the shift system they will have to spend more than three hours and this will not help us to achieve our objectives”.
The Assemblymember added “There is currently an ongoing project which sponsored by GET FUND which started in 2019 but it is still at the footing level, I can’t tell the exact problem in relation to the contract. I explained the GET FUND project issue to the member of parliament and the MCE and they promised that by the end of the year the project will be completed and handed over to the school “.
The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church, Ghana had meanwhile sent a delegation to assess the situation.