Nana Kwadwo Serbeh Agyemang, Chief of Buabinso, is rejecting the Community Day Senior High School which the government has put up at Kyekyewere in the Upper Denkyira East Municipality in the Central Region, saying it is not the priority of the people.
According to him, the project would not help the people in any way, since there are no adequate housing facilities in the locality to accommodate students who come from other communities like Tontokrom, Asaman and Ewisam, and would have to be accommodated at Kyekyewere to attend the day school.
Reiterating recent claims by the Queenmother of Denkyira, Nana Ama Saara Ayensu, that Denkyira lacked development projects under the current government, Nana Serbeh Agyemang advised governments and politicians to use resources judiciously on projects that will benefit the citizenry.
“In fact, the Community Day School is not our priority,” he told The Chronicle in an interview at his palace, saying if care is not taken, the project could become a white elephant in no time, since students who choose to go to the school may not get places to stay, and the Kyekyewere community alone cannot provide accommodation for them.
Nana Kwadwo Serbeh Agyemang, who doubles as the Denkyira Abuakwa Abadomahene, said the 13 communities in his traditional jurisdiction lack so many development projects, such as boreholes, health facilities and places of convenience.
Though the criticism may sound harsh, The Chronicle is advising the government to take it in good faith and see how best to address the concerns being raised by the Chief.
The Community Day Senior High Schools being constructed by the government is a good idea, which would help raise the standard of education in the long run.
Available reports however, indicate that some of the schools have been sited at wrong places, which would make it rather difficult for students to attend. The Otuam Day School, for instance, has been sited far away from the Otuam township.
Looking at the economies of these communities, it is not all that easy for parents to get transport fares for their children and wards, to and from school every day.
The Chronicle understands that some of these schools have been provided with buses, but the question is – How long can the school authorities fuel these vehicles to transport the children day in and day out?
The buses cannot even go to all the surrounding communities to convey the students to school. This means, some of the students would have to walk between four to six kilometres to school every day.
This is a herculean task that could even discourage some of them from pursuing secondary education, and defeating the purpose for which the schools were set up.
The best alternative, The Chronicle suggests, is for the government to consider the possibility of adding hostel facilities to these day schools, and ultimately convert them into boarding schools in the near future.
This way, students who would, otherwise, have walked four to six kilometres to school, would have a place to lay their heads.
If these hostel facilities are not enough to cater for the entire student population, an order could be given for students coming from the very community where the school is sited to be day students, and leave the boarding facilities to students coming from the surrounding communities.
The Chronicle does not think Nana Kwadwo Serbeh Agyemang is rejecting the Community Day Senior High School in its entirety. His concern is that students from the catchment area cannot patronise the facility, because, apart from Kyekyewere, the other communities are far away from the school.
He, therefore, thinks the best way to solve the problem is to provide a hostel facility, otherwise, the school, put up at great cost to the Ghanaian taxpayer, would become a white elephant.
Clearly, this is a genuine concern that Professor Naana Opoku Agyeman and her team should not read politics into. The criticism should rather spur them on to think about the possibility of providing boarding facilities for such schools.