Ashallaja M/A Needs Furniture For The Pupils, Teachers
Stories by Bernice Bessey
On my arrival at the Ashallaja Primary School in the Ga South Municipal Assembly (GSMA), I came across school children having their sporting activities on a park, with some teachers giving instructions to guide them.
A little distance from the park, to my surprise, were some teachers marking their students' exercise books under trees, with one of them not having a desk and using a motorbike for a table.
In this era when classrooms are decorated with posters, colours, toys and audio visual materials to make learning and teaching easy, interesting, and competitive for children and their teachers, the Ashallaja M/A school children continue to sit on mats, cement blocks, and pieces of wood to take instructions.
The situation at the primary school, where the pupils had for over six years taken teaching and learning instructions under trees, has been improved by the provision of a school block by the municipal assembly, but it lacks furniture.
A concerned parent informed the Accra File that the kindergarten, for instance, does not have chairs and tables, and that plywood have been placed on cement blocks and stones to be used as tables.
The parent added that some guardians who couldn't afford to see their children sitting on the floor have bought them plastic chairs.
A teacher, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, noted that early childhood learning must be full of practicals – colours and toys – because children easily remember things they see and feel or touch.
The teacher indicated that some of the parents of the children were so poor that they can't afford plastic chairs to give a little comfort to their wards.
The concerned teacher stated that the proper sitting position of kindergarten pupils is four to a round table so that they can be able participate effectively in the classwork. 'Look at the wall, it is so plain without any paintings to show to the child this is what letter 'A' even stands for.'
'This sitting position of the children is not helping them. We don't have any teaching materials to make them picture what we are trying to get them to know and understand. This poor teaching and learning would not only affect their present stage, but effect them while progressing on the education ladder, because they didn't get their foundations right,' the teacher lamented.
Aside the plastic chairs, the file could count less than ten chairs in the classroom, for which reason a benevolent native donated mats to the school for the children to sit on for lessons.
The teacher added that their sitting position was not enabling them to write, because there are about 50 pupils in each class.
Information gathered by the file indicated that instead of 207 desks, the assembly was only willing to provide 90, which were not enough.
The teachers, on the other hand, also need about 12 tables and chairs.
The teacher further pleaded for lesson books, exercise books, toys, computers and other learning and teaching materials.