696 pupils but just four classrooms

29th September 2000 at 01:00
WINKOGO primary school, five kilometres south of Bolgatanga, has 696 pupils and just four classrooms.

Parents got together and built another. But 10 years later it still waits for the local authority to pay for roof sheets.

As a result, the school runs from 7am to 5pm on two shifts, though this only provides about five hours a day teaching for each child, and in classes of 50 or more.

The children, who are mostly from the Fra fra ethnic group, may also have a five- or six-kilometre walk to school and back.

They are keen to learn but poor. Many arrive without pens or pencils let alone uniform or the 4,000 cedis (60p) a year they are supposed to contribute for sport and cultural activities.

Robert Akendoe, the head, says that, after buildings, curriculum materials are most needed. The 138 pupils in the top year have 12 books for science but none for English and maths.

"Sometimes we only have one book per class. We spend mos of our lesson time writing text on the board rather than teaching" says Mahama Sajeed, assistant headteacher.

With no accommodation near the school teachers have to rely upon erratic bush taxis from nearby Bolgatanga and frequently arrive late. But Robert Akendoe says the in-service training supported by Link is improving teacher motivation and performance.

The whole community looks froward to linking with a UK school.

Naba Moses Aganzuah, the village chief, says "If we can have a little push, we can come together to develop the school. My life is development."

The school is also part of the Catholic Relief Scheme which provides a meal to every child to encourage attendance.

Girls achieving 85 per cent attendance are also given oil, corn and salt each month to take home. The TES Education for All campaign is demanding a primary place for every child in the world. Some 130 million children do not get even the most.


Subscribe

To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers
Already have a TES Digital Subscription
Add subscription number

Comments

Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
 
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today