Stop housing BECE students under poor conditions – FOGET tells schools
The Foundation of Generational Thinkers (FOGET), a youth empowerment non-governmental organization (NGO) is raising serious questions about the housing of final year Junior High School (JSS) students under poor conditions.
Guilty of this inhumane practice, where students are compelled to sleep in open classrooms other than dormitories, in preparation towards the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), are private schools.
Investigations conducted by FOGET indicate that most of these schools have poor infrastructure facilities to even be allowed to operate schools much more to in-house children as part of their preparation towards the BECE.
It unfortunate that the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) on yearly basis don’t publish publicly the dos & dons of schools in preparing their to students for the BECE.
The private schools, which are in no doubt in stiffer competition would endeavour to use all means to have their students passed the exams with ‘flying colours’ to make names for themselves (schools), tend to subject these children to mosquitoes bites and other infections.
Often, the GES is able to quote the number of girls who became pregnant before and during the BECE, yet those whose pregnancy were as a result of the schools’ negligence after the BECE are unknown.
Out of over 50 schools visited by the FOGET president, Prosper Afetsi and his team in communities such as Darkuman, Dansoman, Sakaman and Odorkor all of the Accra Metropolis, 35 were found to be culprits of this act.
Poorly as it may be, the students are compelled by the situation to use urinals which are not up to standard as bathrooms.
Definitely, these schools can serve as the breeding grounds for future teenage and underage mothers, because monitoring of student-to-student and teacher-to-student sexual behaviours maybe very low.
Nevertheless, FOGET is concerned with how proprietors and headteachers in their bid to project the image of their schools have created quasi emergency boarding house for students in such poor conditions.
“We have a situation, whereby, junior secondary school students preparing to sit the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) are asked to attend extra classes, which sometimes involves them temporarily spending the nights on the same campus, where classrooms have been converted into emergency dormitories. “To FOGET, this is not a step in the right direction; these academic facilities lack the wherewithal to be called dormitories and, therefore, are not fit to accommodate these students for even a night,” Mr Afetsi lamented.
To FOGET, both the Ministry of Education, MoE; Ghana Education Service, GES and the Association of Private Schools should come out with strong policy on the issue.
Again, there must be a policy on how schools should be designed- to make room for housing final year students during their preparations for the examination/revision period.