The second lady of the Republic of Ghana, Samira Bawumia, has encouraged Ghanaian children to cultivate the habit of reading for intellectual growth and literal adventure.
She also asked them to be conscious of what they eat as they exercise and keep their environment tidy to avoid infections. Mrs Bawumia had visited the Oninku Drive, Rahmanyya Islamic, and Kotobabi Basic Schools in Tema where she presented some items including exercise books, pencils and drinks to the children.
Welcoming her, Madam Pascaline Ninfaa Kang, Head Teacher of the Oninku Drive Basic School, pleaded for a safe and conducive teaching and learning environment. “Their learning environment is very appalling. Then the fence wall; sometimes we’ll be teaching and learning and a mentally deranged person would walk into the classroom, and then when you want to talk they want to beat you up. So please we are pleading, if we have a fence wall they can’t just walk inside.”
She therefore pleaded for security to be provided by saying that “they have stolen every teacher’s phone in this school. You leave your phone in the bag while teaching and somebody steals it, and in the night here is hell. They break the doors because they want a place to sleep.”
She also observed a situation in which footballers had taken over their playing field to the extent that they played into the teaching period which created noise and other inconveniences.
Madam Ninfaa Kang pleaded for Exercise Books and other logistics to assist in their work saying “we sit four on a dual desk which is highly undesirable. We don’t have text books and so teachers are given just one to write almost everything on the board for children to read.”
The Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Tema, Mr. Felix Mensah Nii Annan-La who accompanied Mrs Bawumia observed that with the launching of the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy by the Ghana Government “the future of these children has already been planned by the President of Ghana.”
He agreed that the Oninku Drive Basic School was in bad shape: “as we can see, the ceiling is falling; this is a complete death trap as far as these children are concerned.”
He added that, “The desks the children are sitting on doesn’t befit the City of Tema. When I turn round and see the black board, at least by now we have to move on to the level of the white board. And this school is even in the centre of the world and a school on the Greenwich Meridian has desks like this. I think the Assembly I am heading has a big job to do, and we promise the Head teacher that within the shortest possible time, we are coming back to look at all these.”
He said the issues of fence wall had been captured in the Education Restoration Agenda, and that over 36 schools were going to be fenced with adequate security within the Metropolis to deal with the issue of intrusion.
He commended the teachers in the school for their hard work, adding that “with all these challenges we can see they are managing and at the appropriate time, we will come to their aid.”