Students of Zorko Senior High School in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region have complained that some abandoned GETFund infrastructure projects at the school are impeding effective teaching and learning.
The students, who eat in the open, rent accommodation outside the school and have to contend with the inadequate number of classrooms are calling on the government to ensure contractors fast-trackwork on projects meant to address these challenges.
Construction of a two-storey, eighteen classroom block project, awarded to Alhaji Mumuni Bolnaba in 2012 has stalled.
Work on a dining hall and a boy’s dormitory which were awarded to P.B Ziblim and Alhaji Zaaki in 2016 respectively are yet to start.
The Zorko Senior High School which was established in 2012 has a population of one thousand and ten students.
The students say, the situation is hindering effective academic work.
“We don’t have classrooms, the classrooms at the uncompleted building are occupied by the form ones but even there, there is no light in the classrooms for ‘preps,’ one student lamented.
“We don’t have a dining hall and boys dormitory, so we eat in the open and rent our own rooms at GHC300.00 per year”
The Headteacher of the school, Tahiru Seidu said, the construction of the projects have halted due to government’s inability to pay the contractors.
He complained that the failure of the contractors to complete work on the projects has meant that the school is facing serious challenges in dealing with the increased numbers due to the Free SHS programme.
“Prior to the implementation of the Free Senior High education programme, we had met with the contractors who assured us that, the projects would be completed before the implementation of the programme,” he said.
“The assurance by the contractors made us applied for more placement into the school but when the academic year was beginning, we contacted the contractors to ascertain why they hadn’t completed the projects but all of them said government had not paid them” Mr. Tahiru stated.
But the District Chief Executive for Bongo, Peter Ayinbisa refuted the claims that the contractors have not been paid by government, adding that, government had paid half of the amount owed the GETFund contractors.
He further warned that, the projects will be awarded to other contractors if those put on the projects do not return to the site to complete the work.
Mr. Ayinbisa stated that, in the interim, the assembly will get a temporary structure for students to eat in.