Pupils of Twifo Asensuho shed D/A Basic School in the Central Region have been turned into labourers by their teachers who compel them to engage in menial jobs during school hours to generate revenue for the school. .
According to some pupils of the school, they are tasked to run errands for some farmers and people in the community by transporting firewood and cocoa from farms to various destinations on daily basis.
As of 9.30 am Monday when the 3News got to the village, some children were seen carrying loads of firewood and water to various destinations in the community.
Some teachers were also seen loitering about in the school while some were busily teaching the junior high school students.
A primary five pupil of the school [name withheld] told 3News she is often tasked by the teachers to go to their farms and carry cocoa pods or plantain suckers to their homes.
She said that she sometimes have to do these tedious jobs during break time in school and ends up feeling stressed.
The situation forced 12-year-old Kwabena Duffuor to drop out of school because he could not concentrate in class after constantly running errands before, during and after school.
He explained his ordeal crippled his academic work, stating he now does not find school attractive.
Proceeds from the errands are said to be given to the school. The children who are used for errands, are also given food and sometimes money as compensation.
Chairman of the school’s PTA, Mr. Bright Ankomah, confirmed the claims by the pupils and justified same, stating the pupils are made to run errands in order to be able to raise money to provide for some social amenities in the school.
He explained that the failure by parents to provide for their wards has accounted for some of these challenges.
The situation, he said, became unbearable to the extent that the teachers were petitioned to put a halt to such behaviour.
Meanwhile, the Assistant Headmaster of the school, James Lawrence Donkoh, has acknowledged the fact that pupils run errands for teachers in order to be paid.
“I will not deny the fact that pupils are made to work during school hours but they are just menial jobs,” he stated.
The Human Resource Manager of the Ghana Education Service at the Twifo Heman Lower Denkyira District, Gregory Amoako Attah, told 3News the issue of pupils being made to run errands for teachers and some people in the community has not come to their attention.
He however observed child labour is predominant in deprived communities, including Asensuho but said there have been persistent calls on both teachers and parents to desist from such acts.
In 2014, the Ghana Labour standards survey revealed that about two million children aged between five and 17years are engaged in child labour with 40 per cent coming from deprived communities.
By Adwoa Adobea-Owusu|3news.com|Ghana