The Afamase Akotom Basic School in the Prestea Huni Valley Municipality of the Western Region has made it a requirement for parents to buy furniture for their wards before they are granted admission into the school.
This development has become necessary because the school has no furniture to accommodate the over 600 pupils from kindergarten to Junior High School.
For parents who cannot immediately provide furniture for their wards, they are granted admission on condition that they do so within the shortest possible time while the wards sit on the floor.
Our reporter, Stanley Nii Blewu, reports Class One, which is supposed to have accommodated 35 pupils, now accommodates 64 pupils with only five desks.
He gathers the school has not received any furniture from the government for about three years now, a situation which has forced parents to bear the cost of furniture for their wards.
Headmistress of the school Nana Yaa Appiaa laments the condition affects the school adversely.
“Every day, they keep coming but anytime somebody comes I have to alert the person that we have a challenge, which is furniture. Some of them will agree [and say] oh Madam, let my child be in the classroom I will find means and bring [furniture].”
She said some parents, who will initially promise to bring furniture, will later renege, allowing their wards to sit on the floor.
“Furniture is the major issue, to the extent that the teachers will have to carry their own furniture to school,” she disclosed.
Meanwhile, some parents see the situation as a collective responsibility to provide for the needs of the school.
Diana Appiah, a parent who came to the school two weeks ago to seek admission for her ward and was unsuccessful because she did not have a desk, has returned with a desk and gets admission for her ward.
According to her, it cost her GH¢ 50 to buy the desk for her ward and she explains in Akan “it is not everything we should leave to the government to do”.
Diana believes she is responsible for her wards welfare in school and is happy to have bought the desk.
Opinion leaders are however not enthused with the development and have complained successive governments have not been fair to the School.
The Prestea Huni Valley Education Directorate and the Municipal Assembly are yet to respond to the plight of the school.
Afamase and Akotom are two farming communities inhabited by an estimated population of about 1,500.
The two communities are located some 15 kilometers from Tarkwa and 17 kilometers from Bogoso.
The school serves the entire school-going population of the two communities and five other surrounding villages in the area.
However, the state of the school leaves much to be desired.