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07.03.2004 Regional News

Abura district basic schools denied textbooks for five years

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Abura Dunkwa (C/R), March 6, GNA - Over the past five years, basic schools in the Abura Asebu-Kwamankese district have not been supplied with some textbooks as required to improve overall teaching and learning in the area.

The subject areas expected to be covered by the books are agriculture, technical skills, religious and moral education and social studies. Books on English language are also "practically non-existent," said Mrs Kafui Fiakpornoo, District Director of Education.

She said this in a report she presented on "school mapping outcomes and other education issues" during the celebration of the district's Education Awareness Week at Abura Dunkwa at the weekend.

The celebration was under the theme: "Quality education at the doorstep of every child, a collective responsibility". It aimed at moving education forward in the district.

Mrs Fiakpornoo stated that apart from the lack of textbooks, many of the schools lacked inputs such as chalks, adding that school libraries were also inadequate.

She said the exercise, which was conducted over a six-month period, considered the areas of access and participation, quality of teaching and learning and management for efficiency.

According to her, the survey showed that as of 2002/2003 academic year, the district had 171 pre-tertiary educational institutions, 65 pre-schools, 66 primary schools, 46 Junior Secondary Schools (JSS), three Senior Secondary Schools (SSS) and one Technical school. She noted that there had not been a significant increase in enrolment in the schools.

She said in the 1997/98 academic year, a total of 11,923 pupils were enrolled as against 13,093 in 2003, adding that there was a continuous dropout of girls at the JSS level. Besides, there were 99 vacancies for teachers that needed to be filled to enhance studies in the area.

The survey showed that an average of 104 school children were using one toilet facility, a urinal for 141 children whilst 31.1 per cent of the schools in the area did not have access to drinking water. Mr Adamu Issah, a representative of UNICEF, commended the district for conducting the survey, which he said would be useful for future planning.

He announced that UNICEF was sponsoring the rehabilitation of three pre-schools and that six more schools will be selected in other parts of the central region for support.

Later at an open forum, the people called on the assembly to enact a by-law that would ban children below 18 years from attending funeral wake-keeping and video shows.

They appealed to the government to provide pre-schools in the area with the necessary facilities to enhance teaching and learning. The forum also urged parents to invest in their children's education instead of spending lavishly on funerals and on other social activities.

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