A situational report from the Upper East Regional Education Directorate on the two districts, copied to Adom News indicates that out of some 9,843 kindergarten pupils, only 2,895 have seats and 3,173 have writing places, hence a shortfall of 6,948 seats and 6,670 writing places.
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At the primary school level, there are 27,000 pupils but only 15,790 have sitting place and 13, 054 have writing space. This indicates that 11,409 do not have sitting places while 14,145 lack writing places.
Per the report, 11 schools in the two districts are faced with no desks and classrooms so the children sit on the floor to study whiles others also learn under trees.
The 11 kindergarten/primary schools are in Mahada-Tamietu, Rahamanial, Teong, Tendanen, Azuguuri, Zaar-Zua, Kariyata, Bantafarigu, Nambina, Woriyanga, and Seguri.
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The Upper East Regional Education Directorate expressed worry at the alarming numbers and raised concerns about the number of dilapidated school buildings, which has compelled some school to hold classes under trees.
According to them, the situation is badly affecting pupils’ performance because it is compromising quality education delivery, which now reflects in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) results from the area.
“The BECE has not been desirable for the district for that past five years the district has never recorded above 50% pass in the BECE. This is due to poor foundation and preparation from primary schools, students’ inability to read, coupled with other challenges,” the report said.
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Meanwhile, Adom News Reporter Kwame Kulenu visited three of the affected schools and reported that pupils were lying on their stomachs writing exams, while others were learning under trees.
Headteachers of the schools told Adom News that they feel sad about teaching under such conditions.
According to them, Ghana Education Service tends to blame the poor performance of pupils on the teachers instead of on the obvious challenges.
They noted that the districts are also faced with huge number of school dropouts because children prefer staying home where they have chairs to sit on, instead of going to sit on the floor at school.
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The teachers said they often feel like resigning from their jobs due to the challenges their schools face, while some say they have already written transfer letters to GES.
But DCE for Garu, Emmanuel Asore Avoka said even though he came to inherit the problem, he will try his best and solve it.