The Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, has inaugurated a six-unit classroom block for the Swedru Salvation Army Basic School in the Central Region.
The project, which was executed by Delovely Company Limited, was sponsored with funds from the OPEC Fund for International Development at a cost of GH₵424,000.
The school had faced infrastructural challenges over the years and that affected effective teaching and learning, hence the construction of the new gated classroom block, with ancillary facilities.
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It would be recalled that the March 10, 2014 edition of the Daily Graphic carried a passionate appeal made by the authorities to the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Agona West Municipal Assembly (AWMA) for a new block to be constructed for the school.
In an attempt to temporarily address the problem, the GES, with support from the Municipal Assembly in September 2017, moved the four classes to a pavilion at the Public Works Department (PWD) yard which shares a wall with the school.
The pavilion was partitioned to accommodate all the four classes, resulting in congestion and overcrowding in the makeshift structure.
A major concern was that the pupils had to cross the main Swedru-Oda highway on a daily basis to attend classes.
As a follow-up, on January 18, 2018, the Daily Graphic again published a sod-cutting ceremony performed by the Municipal Chief Executive for Agona West Municipality, Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, for work to begin on the new classroom block project.
At a short ceremony to inaugurate the project last Tuesday, Professor Yankah underscored the need to lay proper foundation at the basic level of education to enable students to move to the senior high and tertiary levels so as to make meaningful contributions to society.
He called on all key stakeholders to support the government to confront and address all challenges militating against the provision of quality education, particularly at the basic level.
He expressed concern about the menace of internet fraud, popularly referred to as ‘sakawa,’ in the area, saying it was pushing a number of young pupils out of the classrooms.
The Agona West Municipal Director of the GES, Mrs Elizabeth Helen Essel, called on the school’s authorities to address the downward trend of percentage pass among Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) students, which had persisted since 2016, adding that “I wish to call on teachers to go the extra mile to improve the general performance in municipality.”