The KG pupils lie on the floor to study
The KG pupils lie on the floor to study

Damaged school buildings: 118 Pupils leave Kukuruzua Primary School, others sit under trees to study

The destruction of two classroom blocks of the Kukuruzua primary school in the Bawku West District in the Upper East Region is negatively affecting the teaching, learning and enrollment of school pupils.


The roofs of a two-unit classroom block constructed by community members in 2011 to accommodate Kindergarten One and Two pupils, together with a three-unit classroom block constructed in 2004, were ripped off during a heavy storm in April this year.

The three-unit classroom block accommodated pupils in primary one, two and three respectively.

As a result of the damage to the classroom blocks, the school, which hitherto had a total of 411 pupils from Kindergarten to Primary Six, has had its enrolment reduced to 293. The affected pupils have been withdrawn by their parents due to the absence of proper classroom blocks to house them.

After the roofs of the classroom structures which were already showing signs of weakness were ripped off, the school authorities were compelled to relocate the affected pupils under some trees in the school for their studies.

Currently, it is only the pupils occupying the remaining two blocks, which are a three-unit classroom housing primary four, five and six, as well as another three-unit JHS block, that have a roof over their heads. 


The destroyed three-unit primary one-to-three-classroom block was constructed in 2004 as part of the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) project and had its roof ripped off in 2015. It later was re-roofed through the efforts of the Parents Association (PA) of the school.

Again, in 2017, the roof was destroyed by heavy rains, but it was re-roofed by the PA. However, because this year’s destruction of the classroom block was beyond the capacity of the PA, it forced them to report the incident to the district assembly.

Classes are held in the open and pupils use the ground as their seats and tables

Although since the incident officials of the assembly have assured them of constructing a temporary structure to be used by the affected pupils to bring relief to the staff and pupils, nothing has been done about it as yet.


The current situation in the school has compelled both teachers and pupils to improvise to be able to take part in academic activities daily.

Also, due to a lack of the needed desks, together with tables and chairs, the pupils have no option but to sit on the dusty floor in the open every day to participate in teaching and learning, a development which has made it very difficult for the pupils to concentrate while lessons are ongoing.

A difficulty encountered by the teachers daily is their struggle to fasten paper cardboard against the trees to teach the pupils throughout the instructional hours.

Further, with the onset of the rains, academic activities are always brought to a halt anytime it rains. After the rains, it becomes virtually impossible for academic work to continue since the pupils are unable to sit on the wet floor.

The situation has compelled some parents to withdraw their children from the school, resulting in a reduction in the school’s population while some also do not attend school regularly as a result of the inconveniences.

Several letters  

Information gathered by the Daily Graphic indicates that the school’s authorities and opinion leaders have made several appeals to the district assembly, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to come to the rescue of the school.

The head teacher of the school, Gladys Baba, said they had written several letters to the district assembly, GES and the MP of the area to urgently address the school’s predicament but to no avail.

While lamenting that the situation the school finds itself in, individuals and NGOs to view the problem as an emergency to come to their aid.

A class one teacher, Mercy Apambilla, lamented how the situation was negatively affecting teaching and learning, and called on authorities to act swiftly in order not to jeopardise the future of the pupils.

The Assembly member of the area, Williams Azaaba Akoliga, in an interview, said they were concerned and worried about the sad state of the school which was expected to provide sound basic education to school-going children in the area.


“Due to the current state of the school, the future of the pupils is at risk and there is the need to salvage the situation through the provision of the needed classroom blocks for the pupils to study in,” he said.

Recent demonstration

On August 28, 2023, some concerned youth of the Kukuruzua community demonstrated over the current and poor state of the primary school.

They gave the district assembly a one-week ultimatum to immediately pull down the dilapidated classroom block which accommodates pupils from Kindergarten One to Primary Three.

Anogiba Zakari Azure (right), one of the leaders of the demonstrators, presenting a petition to Moses Awarikaro Awenkanaab (left), the Bawku West District Engineer of the Works Department


Also, they demanded the construction of a temporary structure to be used by the pupils who are currently tutored under trees, as well as the provision of marker boards and pens to enable teachers to teach the pupils.


Reading the contents of the petition at the forecourt of the district assembly after demonstrating through some principal streets of the district capital, one of the leaders of the youth, Anobiga Zakari Azure, said because of the collapse of the classroom block, teaching and learning had been heavily affected as the children sat on the bare floor under trees to study.

He noted that the pupils were taught in the abstract since there were no chalkboards or marker boards for the teachers to use to teach the pupils, coupled with sitting on a dusty floor to learn every day.

He added that due to the situation, a letter dated June 5, 2023, was sent to the District Director of the Ghana Education Service, requesting five white marker boards and other items to enhance teaching and learning in the school.


The concerned youth demonstrating around the damaged three-unit classroom block

“We have given the District Chief Executive (DCE) a week ultimatum to demolish the structure to prevent the building from collapsing to kill any of the pupils,” he said, stressing, “We appeal to the assembly to either put up a temporary structure and provide marker and wooden boards or close down the school to save the lives of the pupils.”

The District Works Engineer, Moses Awarikaro Awenkanaab, who received the petition on behalf of the DCE, assured the demonstrators that their petition would be forwarded to the DCE for the needed action to be taken to address the problem in the school.

Writer’s email: [email protected] 

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