Renovation works start on Manle Dada, African Unity Schools
Renovation works have started on the roofs of two classroom blocks that were ripped off at the Manle Dada and African Unity basic schools in the La Dade-Kotopon Municipality.
The nine-unit classroom block of African Unity and three units of the Manle Dada School were destroyed by a rainstorm between May and September, this year, leaving the fate of the over 400 pupils hanging in the balance.
After the Daily Graphic carried the story about the schools, the La Dade-Kotopon Municipal Assembly (LaDMA) gave the assurance that as basic schools reopened last Monday, some of the pupils temporarily moved to the Tenashie Basic School while contractors work to fix the classroom blocks within three months.
When the paper got to the premises of the two schools at about 10 a.m. yesterday, it was observed that some of the pupils had reported to school and were trying to move furniture and books from the affected classrooms to the section of Manle Dada School that had not been affected.
It was also observed that a carpenter was taking off the iron sheet that had been mangled by the rainstorm at the African Unity School.
The foreman, Joseph Ansah, told the Daily Graphic that more men were expected to arrive at the site in the evening to help remove the mangled iron sheets.
"We expect to finish removing the destroyed iron sheets within two days after which we will use another three days to replace the wood that has been destroyed before we roof it with better iron sheets," he said.
Mr Ansah explained that the scope of work included replacement of worn out wood, fixing of ceilings, doors, masonry works and painting.
"We have one month to deliver the contract but we are determined to finish the work in two weeks’ time and hand it over by the third week," he said.
Meanwhile, the Junior High School students who were initially expected to be temporarily moved to the Tenashie Basic School have been provided temporary classrooms at the Manle Primary School block which was not affected by the rainstorm.
When the Daily Graphic team arrived in the schools, the Municipal Director of Education at LaDMA, Habiba Kotomah, and the Deputy Director of Education in charge of Supervision and Monitoring, Francisca Anaba, were there to ensure that the students had classrooms to sit in.
Ms Kotomah said although the initial decision was to move the Junior High School students to Tenashie Basic School, the decision had been changed because of security reasons.
“Currently, the arrangement we have is that Manle Dade and African Unity Form One and Two students are put together except for the JHS 3.
We are able to do this because we have put both kindergartens together and we have two classrooms available to contain the students,” she said.
Ms Kotomah said the merger of the two schools would not affect academic work because the teachers from both schools would share the subjects and teach.
Additionally, she said because the population of the two schools was quite low, it was a bit manageable to keep the pupils in one class.
She urged the heads of the two schools to collaborate with each other to ensure peaceful coexistence between the two schools while a permanent solution was sought.
The head teacher of Manle Dada Basic School, Frank Okyere Preko, called on LaDMA and the Municipal Education Directorate to monitor the renovation works to ensure its early completion.
He said delays in completion of the works would put undue pressure on the facilities in the Manle Dada Primary School.
“The co-existence of the two schools is not easy at all.
If we are congested in the classroom, we cannot have effective teaching.
The heat in the classroom alone is not easy to deal with,” he said.
For her part, the head teacher of African Unity Basic School, Lydia Osei, said although the sharing of classrooms between the two schools was unconventional, the teachers would improvise for academic work to continue until the classrooms were fixed.
“While teachers improvise, we call on the duty bearers to fast-track the process of renovating the classrooms,” she said.