ODUMASE PRESBY SCHOOL SET TO RECORD ANOTHER DISASTER
6/18/2012 1:00:31 PM -
The Presbyterian Primary School at Odumase-Krobo in the Eastern Region is set to record yet another disaster few years after the unfortunate incident at the Junior High School section which left one pupil killed, three others injured and the entire community traumatized.
Bernard Narteh, then a 12-year-old class six pupil died instantly when the roof of the building fell on him together with 3 friends while they were running into the classroom for cover during a rainstorm. None of the affected families has received any form of compensation to defray the cost of the medical bills and the funeral expenses of the deceased.
Reminiscent of what happened with the Junior High School block which gave in to a storm in December 2008 during a heavy downpour after 128 years of neglect since its establishment, a three (3) unit classroom block with an office and a store which currently houses part of the lower primary classes has similarly turned a death trap ready to cause harm with its loose and badly leaking roof, deeply cracked walls, exposed foundations and unbalanced rafters, columns & beams.
Built in 1873 even before the JHS block which has since been rebuilt, the 139 year-old dilapidated classroom block is still being used for regular classes for the lack of a proper alternative structure despite the warning signs of falling debris during heavy downpour and the imminent collapse.
The crumbling structure does not only pose danger to the pupils and teachers of the school but does not also provide a conducive environment for effective academic work.
It would be recalled that following the Daily Graphic publication on the May 7, 2009 edition of the collapse of the JHS structure and the resultant injury and death of some pupils, Zain (Airtel) Telecommunications Ghana immediately responded by razing to the ground the then 128-year-old classroom block, building in it places a modern educational facility which currently houses the Junior High School.
Ms. Emelia Kpabitey, headmistress of the school said 'the horrors of the disaster recorded at the JHS section is still fresh in our memory and that is why we are frightened at the least sign of rain, particularly during this rainy season'.
She said, 'The condition of the block in question badly affects teaching and learning because we are compelled to merge the affected classes- each containing a minimum of 45 pupils- with others anytime it is about raining, and this has become frequent lately because of the rampant downpour. What is more surprising is the fact that the JHS which is just 50 metres away - with all of its modern educational facilities- feeds on our products, yet the school buildings sharply contrast with clearly different learning environment'. She wondered the caliber of students she could produce out of that terrible condition, adding 'We are doing our best anyway'.
She said, her outfit was yet to hear from any of the main stakeholders such as the Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Assembly, the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and the Ghana Education Service, adding 'We are appealing to them and other socially responsible corporate entities and individuals to come to our aid to avert the looming disaster'.
Henking A. Adjase-Kodjo
crumbling 3 unit classroom block
Bernard Narteh, the 12-year-old pupil who died in the first storm that hit the school in 2008