Enrolment at the Kwegyir Aggrey Memorial School in Cape Coast has reduced drastically since the introduction of a shift system last academic year after the school was closed down because of its deplorable state.
The Kwegyir Aggrey Memorial School, which had a population of about 400 students, including those in JHS, at the time it began running shift with the Methodist “A” School, now has only 130 pupils.
When the Junior Graphic visited the school about 11.00 am Thursday, only a handful of the pupils were in school, with one pupil reporting for Class One, while Class Two had eight.
According to the Headmaster of the school, Mr Francis Xavier Kuranchie, the population kept reducing every day, while other nearby schools were over-populated.
He said, for instance, that about 20 children were admitted to Class One at the beginning of the term but after two weeks the number had been reduced to four.
Mr Kuranchie said parents were promised that the classroom block would be reconstructed for the pupils this academic year but most of them started withdrawing their children when the school continued with the shift system this academic year.
Ms Dorcas Okyere, the Class One teacher, said she had to plead with parents to bring their children to the school.
“When I get up early in the morning to go to school, I am not amused at all because every day I come to meet an empty classroom. It does not make the work challenging at all,” she added.
Master Raymon Fynn, a Class Five pupil of the school, said he did not enjoy school because of the shift system, saying he assisted his mother to prepare kenkey to sell in the afternoon, the proceeds of which are used for his upkeep.
“In view of this, I sometimes absent myself from school when we have to run the afternoon shift and this is greatly affecting my studies,” he said.
A Class Six pupil of the school, Hannah Munke, also said pupils of the Methodist “A” School who were in the other shift always said the Aggrey pupils were a nuisance to them and always asked them to go back to their school.
She appealed to the government to come to their aid by completing the classroom block early so that they could return to their own school.
Meanwhile, the block, which has been reconstructed up to the roofing level, has reportedly not been worked on for about three months now.
When the Junior Graphic contacted the Cape Coast Metropolitan Chief Executive, Ms Mercy Arhin, she said the contractor abandoned the work on the classroom block because the GETFund which was financing the project had not paid him.
She said the contractor who was working on the building with his own money ran out of cash and promised that immediately the money was released work would continue to enable the pupils of the Aggrey school to return to their school.
The Kwegyir Aggrey School was closed down as a result of its deplorable state and threat to the lives of the pupils.
In order to forestall any mishap, the pupils were made to join the Methodist “A” School to run a shift system.
Later, reconstruction work on the block was awarded on contract and it was expected to be completed before the beginning of the academic year.
Story by Hannah A. Amoah