Schools In Savannah Region Decry Absence Of Text Books Ahead Of Reopening

Saudata Mahama, Headmistress of Al Manara Primary School Saudata Mahama, Headmistress of Al Manara Primary School

Basic schools in the Savannah Region, have lamented about the continuous absence of textbooks over the past few years, saying it is to some extent hampering effective teaching and learning.

The schools say, although teachers have been managing and employed other means to serve that purpose, teaching and learning, has not been the same, raising the quality of teaching and learning in schools, especially the remote and rural areas.

School authorities who made the disclosure during a Ministry of Education sponsored basic schools disinfection exercise by waste management company, Zoomlion, pleaded with the government to hasten the process and furnish them with the books. They complain that, several assurances by the Ghana Education Service (GES), have still yielded no result.

Speaking to the media in separate interviews during the disinfection programme yesterday in the region, Assistant Headmaster of Jafo Junior High School in Damongo, Asumah Tijani, said the situation must be addressed.

Mr Tijani, who enumerated a number of challenges the school has been grappling with, said teachers have been doing their best to use other ways to source for relevant materials for teaching.

"If you are a teacher and you are sent here, you have to look for your own textbooks. This has existed for about five years. They tell us that they will give us but still we are not getting them", he said.

Mr Tijani continued, "We the teachers prepare our notes but we buy pamphlets from people and after we glance through them then we buy.

We are pleading with the government to try as much as possible to bring them, so we that we can effectively impact knowledge".

He told journalists, teachers mostly get their information online or buy books from private writers to adjust to what appears to be a new normal.

He mentioned lack of infrastructure and general lack of classroom blocks, petty thievery, as some of the challenges facing the school which has 300 pupils population.

On the school's preparedness towards the reopening of schools, Mr Tijani, said there are generally enough classrooms to contain the JHS two students, have been asked to return to school.

He said provision have been made to ensure they follow to the latter all the safety protocol measures put in place by government.

Alhough, government is yet to supply some of the items like facemasks, he was hopeful they will brought in on time. He commended government for the third phase of the disinfection programme, saying it will go a long to enhance safe learning.

Though headmistress of the Al-ManaraE/A Primary School Saudatu Mahama, admitted the unavailability of text books was a general issue, she explained she would have wished they were made available, so it can support not only teachers, but the total of 332 pupils in learning.

Headteacher for Jakpa Basic School in Damongo, Siibu Abudu Miriam, also expressed concern about the unavailability of the text books, but said teachers have employed innovative ways to beat down it effect on teaching and learning.

Madam Abudu, was also concern about the lack of classroom blocks and playing grounds for the 363 pupils.

The Deputy Director in charge of Supervision, Katridi Dramani, who acknowledged the lack of text books, said the teachers are in the know similar ways they can get the necessary materials to work with."We are waiting for government.

The issue of textbooks has been a problem, but we tell the teachers that, that should not be the main reason because they need to be resourceful and since most of these textbooks can be downloaded on the internet and other supplementary books, they can still use them before the supply from government", he advised.

He said, government was yet to supply them with facemasks and sanitizers, but was hopeful they will arrive in due course.

Savannah Regional Manager for Zoomlion, Samuel Nyaaba Aliah, was concerned about the often difficulty in getting the school heads to make the classrooms available for the disinfection exercise.

He said it also remains a challenge getting the school heads to sign and stamp on forms indicating that they have completed their part of the contract.

"Anytime we get into the schools, we don't get them to open the classrooms. Also, it is difficult to get them to sign or put their stamps on our forms", he lamented

Aside that, he said the exercise to disinfect some 216 basic schools and three Senior High Schools, is underway with no challenges on their side.

Some of the schools visited, were Maranatha SDA Junior High School, Buipe Senior High School among others.

Source: By Gifty Arthur/