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Schools lack proper adequate facilities - Report

BY: Augustina Tawiah & Charleselta Abaidoo
Mr Charles Y. Aheto-Tsegah
Mr Charles Y. Aheto-Tsegah

An independent civil society audit report of schools infrastructure in rural and urban slum areas had revealed that majority of schools in the country lacked proper and adequate infrastructure.

It said typically, those with some infrastructure were not disability friendly and also were in a dilapidated state.

Conducted by the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) in three regions of the country, the report further said adequate proper infrastructure had a direct impact on teaching and learning and, therefore, appealed to government; stakeholders; metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) and traditional authorities to pay much attention to providing proper and adequate infrastructure for schools.

The report, which had already been submitted to the Ministry of Education (MOE), was launched in Accra yesterday[July 21, 2022].

Presentation

Presenting its findings, the technical person for the audit, Charles Y. Aheto-Tsegah, said the primary objective of the audit was to identify the availability of infrastructure in schools, which included teaching and learning materials; libraries; offices for head teachers with attached storerooms; ICT laboratory; facilities that support inclusion and water and sanitation facilities.

The audit was conducted in the Brong Ahafo, Eastern and Volta regions and for each of those regions, two districts were selected and five schools - urban slum and rural slum, from each of the districts, were used for the audit.

Findings

Under availability of libraries, laboratories, and classrooms in the schools, Mr Aheto-Tsegah said the audit findings revealed that 100 per cent of schools did not have science laboratory and 66.7 per cent of schools did not have ICT laboratories as against 33.3 per cent that had.

For availability of teaching and learning materials, he said 90 per cent of schools did not have textbooks for students and teachers as against 10 per cent that had; 93.3 per cent of schools did not have drawings of learners on the walls as against 6.7 per cent that had while for conversational posters, 60 per cent of schools did not have as against 40 per cent that had.

The audit, he said, also established that under the availability of ICT facilities, 96.7 per cent of schools did not have internet and wifi connection; 73.3 per cent did not have a digital library, while 93.3 per cent did not have laptops, desktops and tablets for teacher usage.

“Majority of our schools do not have disability-friendly facilities to encourage children with disabilities to go to school. There is very little effort to implement the disability policy on inclusive education,” he pointed out.

Mr Aheto-Tsegah, who was a former Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), said the report established that majority of toilet facilities available for boys and girls in schools were quite dirty with noticeable odour emanating from them, half of the buildings were damaged, some littered and stains on the walls and doors.

Toilet facilities

He pointed out that the provision of school infrastructure was one major development that drove the growth of education and civil society organisations had increasingly expressed concerns about the imbalances in the distribution of school infrastructure.

However, he said many governments, in responding to these only paid lip service to provide facilities or selectively identified schools to offer the facilities under the guise of establishing model schools.

He explained that the GNECC, recognising the challenges and threats to implementing the inclusive education policy, partnered other civil society organisations to gather information to assist the MOE and the GES in addressing the situation.