Pupils in the Naaga Basic School in the Kasena-Nankana Municipality of the Upper East Region will no longer sit on the bare floor or lie on the bellies to learn following the donation of desks to the school through the instrumentality of one of their teachers, Desmond Kampoe.
TV3 first reported on the woes of the school in December 2019. The report revealed pupils sat under life-threatening conditions to take lessons as the team observed structural defects including deep cracks in the walls of the school building and roof leakages. Pupils in some classes did not have desks and had to sit on the bare floor to learn.
The ensuing years after the report had some benevolent individuals including the immediate past regional minister of the Upper East Region, Tangoba Abayage, the Managing Director of Hydronomics Limited, Dr Julius Awuni, who is a native of the area, donate desks to the school. A new school block has also been started but has stalled for some time now.
The latest support for the school is the donation of 81 dual desks through the initiative of one of its teachers who says he had been moved by the situation in the school since he was posted there in 2017.He said it had since been his intention to seek help for the school however small it may be.
According to him, he had started a personal project with friends and family to mobilize funds to help the school which he later transformed into social media campaign, a campaign which hit a snag because some political actors raised concerns.
“In November 2019, I actually started the project privately with my big brother, we started talking to people we know to see if we could raise a little bit of support even if we can’t take the whole school, at least class after class, but then reaching out to people we didn’t actually get positive feedback but it’s been a challenge”, he stated.
Mr. Kampoe said the report of TV3 on the situation however gave him impetus to pursue the project again.
“When the TV3 documentary that was aired on the 7th of December 2019, I realized that it exposed the school issue outside there and so when I go out there to talk about it to people they will actually listen up because this was an audio-visual thing capturing everything”, he said.
Detailing the circumstance that led to the donation of the desks, he said he earlier this year donated some nose masks, face shields and hand sanitizers to the pupils of the school, took pictures and shared on his social media handles.
Those pictures, according to him, went viral because the pupils were seen in the pictures sitting on the bare floor in some of the classrooms.
Mr. Kampoe said philanthropists who saw the social media posts and were moved reached out to him and offered to help.
“I came and donated the PPE and then I took pictures of the donation and posted them on my social media handle, this went viral that actually got a couple of people to respond, notably among them is Mr. Sellah and his friends who supported us with 30 dual desks and Technology Beyond Borders (TWD), they also supported us with 51 desks, friends and other acquaintances also supported me to transport the desks from Tamale”, he explained.
He expressed gratitude to all those who supported to ensure the pupils now have desks to sit on.
While expressing gratitude to the donors, headmaster of the school, Ayesiyinga Robert, said the school still needs more.
“We have so many challenges. You can see the block is just very bad, the windows and doors are removed and that didn’t have today, that happened so many years ago. Unfortunately, we don’t have the necessary funding to maintain the broken parts”, he said.
Representative of the Chief of Naaga, Clement Azongo, also thanked all the donors on behalf of the chief stating the intervention is timely as it will enhance teaching and learning in the school.