The Member of Parliament for the Sissala West Constituency in the Upper West Region of Ghana, Mohammed Adams Sukparu, has decried the poor nature of basic school infrastructure in his constituency.
According to him, close to 50 percent of the basic school population in his constituency, study under very deplorable conditions such as dilapidated structures without roofing among others.
The Member of Parliament made this known when he made a statement on the Floor of Parliament on Monday, March 20, 2021 on the dilapidated state of Basic School buildings in the Sissala West Constituency.
“There are only 60 basic schools in my district. 30 of these schools have no decent infrastructure. By no decent infrastructure, I mean students in these schools either study under sheds, in buildings with no roofs, cracked walls, and buildings so dilapidated that if nothing urgent is done,” the MP said.
According to the first time Member of Parliament, his statement was occasioned by a revelation by the District Director of Education of Sissala West who admitted in an interview that “50% of basic schools in the Sissala West District study under dilapidated structures.”
He argued that the poor basic school infrastructure is at the center of the poor performance of the students in the district and the source of the poor literacy rate in the constituency.
“Mr. Speaker, this problem of deteriorated infrastructure seems to contribute to the unacceptable literacy rate in the district which according to the Sissala West District Assembly has only 16,271 literates out of 40,678 individuals aged 11 and above in the district.
He therefore made an urgent appeal to the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), as well as religious bodies, public and private institutions to come to the aide of the basic schools in the district.
Below is the full statement made on the Floor of Parliament
STATEMENT ON THE DILAPIDATED STATE OF BASIC SCHOOL BUILDINGS IN THE SISSALA WEST DISTRICT BY MOHAMMED ADAMS SUKPARU, MP FOR SISSALA WEST CONSTITUENCY
Mr. Speaker, I am very grateful for the opportunity to speak briefly on the mediocre state of basic school buildings in the Sissala West District. My statement is occasioned by the alarming revelation by my District Director of education in an interview with Ghanaweb published on Friday 22nd January 2021, who said that 50% of basic schools in the Sissala West District study under dilapidated structures.
Mr. Speaker, the population of Sissala according to the Sissala West District Assembly is 62,958. Out of this figure, a total of 28,457 are below age 15 representing nearly 50% of my constituents. What this means then is that, almost half of the entire population in the district attends basic school without access to decent basic school infrastructure.
There are only 60 basic schools in my district. 30 of these schools have no decent infrastructure. By no decent infrastructure, I mean students in these schools either study under sheds, in buildings with no roofs, cracked walls, and buildings so dilapidated that if nothing urgent is done, we could be faced with a number of fatal incidences on our hands as recorded elsewhere.
You will recall that on 31st December, 2017, a primary school building collapsed in the Odoben Brakwa District in the Central region killing 6 Kindergarten pupils. Similar incidences have occurred in Nkurankan in the Eastern region, and other parts of the country. I am not a prophet of doom but I dare say we also risk such a calamity if nothing urgent is done in the Sissala West district.
Mr. Speaker, this problem of deteriorated infrastructure seems to contribute to the unacceptable literacy rate in the district which according to the Sissala West District Assembly has only 16,271 literates out of 40,678 individuals aged 11 and above in the district. Arguably, the basic school level forms the most significant foundation for the education of every child. Given that many of these dilapidated structures are unsafe for use, many children quit along the line leaving just a few graduates from my district each year. It comes as no surprise that the performance of students who sit for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) is unsatisfactory at best, and abysmal at worst; with only 5.3% making it to the tertiary level according to the District Assembly.
Mr. Speaker, it is the urgent nature of this problem that makes it impossible for me to spend another day in this house without talking about it. Though the District Assembly has over the years tried to renovate some of these dilapidated basic school buildings, the problem keeps worsening because of the woefully inadequate funds available to the Assembly. It tells how precarious the situation is and I would want to call on the government to take a special interest in the Sissala West Constituency.
Mr. Speaker, I therefore wish to appeal urgently to the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GetFund) as a matter of urgency to come to the aid of these 30 schools in the Sissala West District. I also extend this appeal to religious bodies, public and private institutions to come on board to augment the efforts of my office and the District Assembly.
Thank you for the opportunity, Mr. Speaker
Source: Clement Akoloh||parliamentnews360.com