CLUSTER OF SCHOOLS IN TENDAAMBA PRIMARY REGISTER LOW ENROLMENT AS A RESULT OF OPEN DEFECATION ON THEIR PREMISES
The staff and students of the Tendaamba Primary School A and “B” in the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region are calling on residents who live around the school to stop defecating in their classrooms and on the school premises.
Speaking to Radio Ghana News, the Heads of the two schools expressed worry about the development because students have to spend productive hours cleaning classrooms and picking up human waste littered around the school compound. They added that schools also spend a lot of money buying locks for the classrooms and toilet facilities but this does not deter some unscrupulous people from breaking and entering the facilities.
The Tendaamba Primary School “A” and “B” in the Wa Municipality has seen a steady decline in enrolment over the past years. The Headmistress of Tendaamba Primary “B”, Evelyn Dede Dannson attributed this decline to the stigma attached to the school. She explained that some parents refuse to send their wards to the school because they believe their children will have to be cleaning faeces instead of studying.
“How can children come from home to school and come and be washing faeces in the classroom before they sit? An NGO came to give us toilet for the children; the children now have to wash outsider’s faeces before they can now use the place. It is affecting us a lot: low enrolment. There’s a stigma on this school, that this school is full of faeces, so parents do not like bringing their wards here,” Madam Madam Dede Dannson said.
The Headmaster for Tendaamba Primary “A” Pwazaga Payne added that “the school’s supposed to start teaching at 7:30am but you go into the class and there are faeces in the class. You can’t stay there to learn. You have to wash the whole place and then wait after some time, by that time; you have probably lost some one or two periods which you cannot get back.”
Fadilatu Seidu who is a class six pupil of Tendaamba Primary “A” said she was not happy about the situation and appealed to the sensibilities of perpetrators to stop the practice.
“This situation it affects my class work because when you are sitting in the class, the smell always comes there and you cannot concentrate. Even when you are eating and the scent enters your nose, you cannot eat well. I will like to tell those people that they should stop defecating in our school. It is not good and will not help us to learn,” she said
Teachers who also spoke to Radio Ghana expressed disgust about the situation. They appealed to the perpetrators of the act to stop to enable them continue teaching and learning activities in a clean and conducive environment.