Goo-Atanda Primary & Kindergarten: A threat to pupils’ lives in Bongo

Some of the pupils study under trees[/caption] Pupils of Goo-Atanda Primary and Kindergarten School in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region learn under very harsh conditions like learning under trees and dilapidated structures, a situation that poses danger to their lives. The School was originally established for orphans but currently has other children due to lack of primary school in the community. The school was established by a resident, Julius Ayamga Pascal, in August 2015 when he realized that the only available school in the Goo-Atanda electoral area was about eight kilometers apart between Atanda and Goo, creating non-interest in hundreds of children. After just one year and five months, the Goo-Atanda Primary and Kindergarten School enrolls about 300 pupils. [caption id="attachment_41708" align="alignnone" width="563"]The primary classes share a single room The primary classes share a single room[/caption] Kindergarten 1 is divided into two classes A and B and is under tree handled by one volunteer, who is the founder of the school. Kindergarten 2, Primary 1, Primary 2 and Primary 3 share a space in an uncompleted church building making teaching and learning difficult. The School has two trained teachers and two volunteers. Mr Ayamga Pascal in an interview said education in the community was nothing to talk about when he returned from the southern part of Ghana for a visit and has since stayed. He said he established the school for orphans who were at home without education. But the outcome has been overwhelming, he said, though it has come with challenges such as lack of classroom blocks, water, teaching and learning materials.

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Goo Atanda4 Goo Atanda1 Goo Atanda He therefore called on benevolent organizations and individuals to provide the school with structures and teaching and learning materials. He said the Ghana Education Service (GES) in the Bongo District provided them with 25 pieces of dual desks and it is in the process of taking over the school. The Assemblyman of the Goo-Atanda electoral area, Akolgo George Akolbire, added his voice for the provision of facilities to the school especially the provision of water. According to him, pupils carry water in plastic bottles from their homes to the school and when it finishes, they leave school to travel about two kilometers to refill their bottles. Lack of school feeding has also compelled the pupils to hunt for wild fruits as most of them attend school on empty stomach due to poverty in the area. According to the founder, the school closes whenever there are rains and when the sun is hot, they have to do a rotation of ‘classrooms’ with any available trees. Ayamdoor Martha is a parent and she is appealing to the government to rescue them from the harsh conditions in the school. The School resorts to prayers for any pupil who falls sick as there is no First Aid in the school and the health center serving about ten communities within Goo-Atanda electoral area is far. Pupils cannot also learn at night as the community is not connected to the national grid.
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