Graphic produces results: New classroom block for Bepotrim M/A Basic School
Pupils of the Bepotrim M/A Basic School in the Wenchi Municipality in the Bono Region will now heave a sigh of relief after the inauguration of a fully furnished six-unit classroom block for them.
Constructed by the Madamfo Ghana Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, and funded by Peter Orloff and WIR HELFEN KINDERN, the new classroom block has ancillary facilities such as a head teacher’s office, staff common room, store, mechanised borehole and washrooms.
For many years, schoolchildren have had to study in a dilapidated classroom block, putting the lives of about 90 pupils and teachers at risk.
The Daily Graphic first reported the plight of the schoolchildren on May 24, 2020, and followed up with another publication on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, highlighting the deplorable state of the classroom block and its effect on teaching and learning.
It is located on the Wenchi-Buoku Highway.
One of the old classroom blocks in the school, built with mud, developed deep cracks while parts of the roof of the structure had been ripped off during a storm.
The situation affected attendance as both teachers and students had to abandon classes or vacate the premises for their safety anytime the clouds gathered.
Some students who were studying in the dilapidated structure during the Daily Graphic's visit
When this reporter visited the school in June 2023, classes were in session but the pupils seemed distracted by the condition of their classrooms.
On the day, not many of them were in class, obviously because it had rained earlier that morning, while classes had been combined because of insufficient classrooms due to the bad condition of the structure.
Pupils in kindergarten one and two were lumped together in one classroom with two teachers, while classes one and two had also been combined in another classroom with two teachers.
It was in response to the publications by the Daily Graphic that the Wenchi Municipal Assembly appealed to the foundation to construct the six-unit classroom block to alleviate the plight of the schoolchildren and improve education in the area.
Speaking yesterday during the inauguration of the school block, the Wenchi Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Alexander Obour Damoah, said the dilapidated nature of the old classroom block had brought a bad name to the community and the municipality.
He said the poor state of the classroom block was published in the media, particularly the Daily Graphic and Graphic Online exposing the bad state of the school.
Mr Damoah said as a result he wrote a letter to the foundation requesting the construction of a befitting six-unit classroom block to enhance teaching and learning and expressed his profound gratitude to the foundation for responding to his appeal.
The newly constructed six-unit classroom block for the Bepotrim M A Basic School
"Today I am happier than the chiefs and people of Bepotrim, because one of my nightmares has been addressed," he said, adding that the construction of the classroom block was good news to the entire municipality.
He said the government alone could not provide all needs of all communities across the country and would therefore require the support of organisations and individuals to develop the country.
Mr Damoah said it always saddened him when he saw little children studying in poor environments or conditions and thanked the foundation and all stakeholders who contributed towards the execution of the project.
For his part, the Deputy Country Director of the Madamfo Foundation Ghana, Enoch Sunday Atipoe, said the foundation had provided the classrooms with dual desks, including teachers’ tables and chairs, cupboards as well as computers and a printer.
He explained that the organisation had also connected the school to electricity in order to aid Information Communication Technology (ICT) and night studies.
Mr Atipoe thanked the members of the Bepotrim community for their cooperation and support during the execution of the project.
He further appealed to the management of the school and the community members to ensure regular maintenance on the block to prolong its lifespan.