Students of Klo-Agogo Senior High School (SHS) in the Yilo Krobo District of the Eastern Region share the school’s shameful dining hall with animals.
The dining hall, which shares the same space with a classroom, is most of the time littered with faeces of stray animals who have made the place their abode due to lack of a fencing facility.
The DAILY HERITAGE observed during a visit to the school that the health of the SHS students could be in danger if the environment in which food is prepared and served is not immediately upgraded.
The headmaster of the school, Mr John Mensah Dzokoto described the plight of the school as “pathetic” which required urgent attention.
Close to one of the classrooms is a joint where akpeteshie, a local alcoholic gin, is brewed.
Information gathered indicated that the brewing had been taking place at the joint for the past 26 years.
The students complained that they are unable to concentrate during instructional hours due to the smell of the akpeteshie.
They said they are also unable to concentrate because they are easily distracted by animals that roam their makeshift classroom while bleating.
The Klo-Agogo SHS, established 26 years ago, currently has a student population of 742, out of which 504 are boarders, but lack of resources has made learning very difficult for the students.
There is no proper dining or assembly hall for social gathering. However, to improvise with the little it has a structure has been earmarked for dining, church service and other social gatherings, but the space is being shared with goats and fowls.
What the paper observed during the visit to the school was that during breakfast and lunch time, goats and fowls invaded the hall immediately food was served.
The animals sometimes eased on the dining hall tables before dining hall time. Students were often seen chasing the animals away before meals.
Lack of tables and chairs at the dining hall has also led to students having their food served on the bare dusty floor.
Classroom turned into dormitories
The school has, due to pressure on the facility and to check truancy of students who were accommodated outside the school, converted some classrooms into dormitories to be able to accommodate boarders, especially the female students.
But for the intervention of the Upper Manya Klo Rural Bank Limited, which donated 100 double beds to the school, students, especially the females were forced to sleep on the floor due to lack of beds.
The school’s library, according to the headmaster, is currently serving another purpose as a storeroom for kitchen staff. The school’s kitchen is also another source of worry, as food is prepared in the open.
The school, which is an agric school, does not have science laboratory. There are no bungalows for teachers and other officers of the school. The school also needs an Information and Communications Technology laboratory, as well as school field.
The headmaster of the school, who was transferred to the school barely a year ago, told the paper that, despite the numerous challenges, they are doing their best to ensure that they don’t affect academic work.
He said efforts made to address some of the concerns with settlers were met with confrontations which ended up at the district education office.
He lamented that living with “animals” is a hell because the “animals always pass, make noise and mess the whole place and sometimes join the students in the classroom. We always have to chase them. This is a clear destruction to our activities.”