Teachers at the Parkoso Community Day Senior High School in the Asokore Mampong Municipality of the Ashanti Region, are struggling to assess the performance of first-year students.
This is because most of the students sit on the bare floor for class work, and the few desks available, are shared by students in pairs, does not allow for independent work.
The school was commissioned by former President John Dramani Mahama as part of his 200 Community day Senior High School project in 2016.
The school admitted over 700 first-year students this year who are benefiting from the government’s Free Senior High School program.
Another major challenge facing the school include overcrowded classrooms.
One of the students, Mohammed Abubakar, told Citi News that, “The situation whereby two students sit on one chair is not good. It does not enhance our learning skills. We don’t feel comfortable whilst writing, and it causes a lot of problems for us. It also causes distraction during teaching.”
Another student, Dorcas Frimpong, lamented on the scarcity of furniture at the school.
“We don’t have enough desks to sit on, so it has affected us a lot. We need enough desks, so we can do individual work during class assignments and examination.”
The school has 48 teaching staff including 11 national service personnel and 4 personnel on internship.
Teachers squat to work
At the staff common room, the teachers either squat or stand to mark assignments and prepare their lesson notes because of lack of chairs.
A teacher, Minatu Tahir, is equally unhappy about the situation.
She indicated that, students do not sit in class during lessons with the excuse that there are no furniture to sit on.
Mrs. Tahir said teachers find it very difficult to assess the performance of students because they copy from each other whenever an assignment or class exercise is given to them.
Headmistress of the Parkoso Community Day Senior High School, Mrs. Alice Opoku Adjei, who confirmed the challenges to Citi News, said she was worried about the myriad of challenges facing the school, and fears authorities may not be able to admit students in the next academic year due to inadequate classrooms.
She revealed that the absence of equipment at the school’s uncompleted Science laboratory, made it difficult for students pursuing the course to carry out practical work.
She said the students are taken to a nearby Senior High School to carry out practicals.
Mrs. Opoku Adjei, therefore appealed for support from government and corporate organizations to furnish the science laboratory.
The school has not attained a boarding status, as a result, food is served in the open, and students sit on verandas and 0ther uncomfortable places to take their meals.
School authorities and students are appealing to philanthropists and other benevolent organisations to come to their aid in addressing the myriad challenges.
The Free SHS, which admitted nearly four hundred thousand first year students, has put a lot of pressure on facilities in most schools with many struggling for accommodation, lack of desks, inadequate classrooms, and ill-equipped science labs.
Citi News reported of an incident at the La Presby SHS in Accra, where students were forced to sit on cement blocks due to lack of desks.
They later got help from a philanthropist, before government also made some provision.