Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Shaini Alhassan Shaibu, acknowledged furniture deficit in the public schools in the region and said the government is ready to collaborate with development partners to address them.
In Goal 4 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he admitted encountering a challenge in the furniture deficit.
He was optimistic that ActionAid Ghana and its partners’ contributions and continuous moves would kick-start proactive measures to address this critical challenge in the region.
The measures the minister noted have become essential following low performance in the BECE and WASSCE examinations, which could be attributed to several factors, including the inadequacy of furniture to create a conducive environment for teaching and learning.
“It is sad to note that in some schools, pupils are compelled to lay on the bare floor to learn, which certainly cannot foster effective teaching and learning, and its effectiveness leads to poor performance during examinations”, the minister lamented.
Statistics, the minister said, point to the fact that the furniture situation in public basic schools in the region is appalling and needs urgent attention to address the challenges.
Out of the total enrollment of 150,00 kindergarten pupils, only 52,000, representing 32.6%, have furniture to sit on. Out of a total of 340,000 primary school pupils, only 1, 040,000, representing 44%, have anything to learn. At the junior high and SHS levels, 73.3% and 73.8% of students have access to furniture, respectively. He called for a concerted effort to tackle the challenge head-on.
According to him, the situation in the region raises fundamental issues about the effectiveness of planning at the Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) level.
He therefore directed all MMDAs to fashion out effective plans to ensure furniture for all pupils in the basic schools. He noted that his directive requires all assemblies to provide resources and also solicit assistance from development partners.
The Northern Regional Director of the Ghana Education Service, Hajia Katumi Natogmah Attah, in her first official engagement with stakeholders since her appointment, said the region needs collaboration to deliberate on challenges confronting the education sector.
Hajia Katumi said she will operate an open-door policy with stakeholders to get solutions to numerous challenges in the domain of education.
According to her, the region is not isolated when it comes to furniture needs in basic schools and second-cycle institutions. She added that the level of supply of furniture in the region in the past has not been adequate to meet increasing enrolments in the schools.
Source: Mohammed Ibrahim; Head of ZaaNews