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Over $200 Needed To Fix Old Schools

The Minister of Education, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, on Tuesday told parliament that 8,268 basic schools across the country are in very deplorable state and need to be rehabilitated.

According to him, the ministry would need more than $200 million to undertake such an exercise.

He said with the onset of the raining season, the ministry had identified 20 ’emergency’ cases – school buildings that are death traps across the country – and so need to give prompt attention to them.

He however, failed to mention those schools that have been identified as ‘death traps’ which he noted are “ticking bombs ready to explode.”

Mr Opoku-Prempah, fondly called Napo, made the disclosure in a contribution to a statement made on the floor of parliament by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Atwima Nwabiagya South, Emmanuel Agyei Anhwere, on the dilapidated nature of some basic school buildings in the country.

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The minister said to arrest the situation, his ministry would present a proposal to parliament to consider an emergency formula in the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) for the purpose of rehabilitating such structures.

Mr Agyei Anhwere said that this year alone there had been several school buildings that had collapsed, resulting in the deaths and injuries of school children.

He cited an example of such occurrences at Breman Jamara in the Central Region and that which took the lives of eight children at Nkurankuran in the Eastern Region and causing serious injuries.

“Mr Speaker, basic schools serve as the foundation for our education. The quality of our basic schools is what propels students into future radiance. How can we produce another generation of astute academicians, renowned medical officers, revered lawyers and selfless leaders when the very foundation that is supposed to prepare and nurture them to climb the academic ladder are in ruins,” Mr Agyei Anhwere said, stressing that the sad reality is that most of the basic schools in the country have become death traps for pupils and teachers rather than centres for knowledge acquisition.

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The MP cited a primary school at Amadum Adankwame in his constituency in the Ashanti Region as one of such schools which need urgent rehabilitatio.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member for Upper West Akim, Derek Ohene Assifo Bekoe, appealed to the minister to in the interim, get some emergency fund in place so that when school buildings are ripped off in this raining season, they would receive immediate attention.

By Thomas Fosu Jnr