27 May 2019

Ghana: Completed Millenium Schools Locked ... Ama Yet to Hand Over Buildings to Schools for Use

More than two thousand students of three clusters of schools in the Okaikwei North Municipal Assembly (ONMA) here in Accra would have to endure congestion among other inconveniences a little longer as three 'completed' Millennium Schools are yet to be put to use.

This is because the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) is yet to hand over the schools and other accompanying documents to the ONMA, one of the assemblies carved out of the AMA in 2018.

As a result, the schools - Tesano, Apenkwa and Fadama Clusters - which have 13 schools in total still operate in their out-of-shape structures.

When the Ghanaian Times visited the three schools on a rainy day, teachers at the Apenkwa Cluster of Schools which hosts the Presby A and B and Shiayenor A and B Junior High Schools, for example, had their on-the-table makeshift offices on the veranda of a leaking facility they currently occupy.

At the Tesano Cluster which hosts the Tesano '1', '2' Primaries, Tesano and Damboi Junior High Schools, students jostled for space under the leaking roof of some of the classrooms.

Meanwhile, behind them, sits the magnificent Millennium Schools partially painted, wired electrically but cordoned off. From the outside, what is left to be fixed are the doors and louvers.

The yet to be used facilities, unlike the ones being used now, have state-of-the-art sanitation systems, computer and science laboratories, staff common rooms with spacious classrooms.

An official at the Fadama Cluster who prayed anonymity told the Ghanaian Times that the Abeka '2' Primary, Abeka '2' Junior High and Abeka '3' Basic Schools for instance have been earmarked to be merged into one school for the habitation of the 18-unit two storey building edifice.

According to the source, the contractor left the site more than a year ago. Same was the narrative at the Tesano and Apenkwa Clusters.

A teacher at the Tesano Cluster, also on condition of anonymity, could not comprehend why the structure would be under lock and key when students are gasping for space in their existing classrooms.

"As you can see, the building is ready but because of bureaucracy, here we are. We have been told that the building is not complete but if you compare this structure to the ones in the villages, which is more convenient for teaching and learning activities," the unhappy teacher asked.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghanaian Times as to why the facilities were not being utilised, the Municipal Chief Executive of the ONMA, Boye Laryea said the AMA was yet to hand over the projects to his assembly.

"We are yet to receive the full report on the Millennium Schools and when we receive them we would know what to do based on the report we would receive," he said.

Admitting that the existing structures which hosts the 13 schools were not in the right shape, Mr Laryea said his outfit was committed to the wellbeing of students and would act with speed on the report.

The Millennium Schools project was conceived in 2011 under the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) for Accra, Alfred Oko Vanderpuije to face out the morning and afternoon sessions.

The Ghanaian Times' sources at the AMA, however, indicates that there are more of such schools which have stalled because of financial constraints.

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