Children from Al-Zakaria English and Arabic Primary School at Sang can now enjoy a safe learning environment after months of missing school.
Earlier this year, 90 girls and boys ages nine to 12 were forced to miss school after a heavy downpour left a gaping hole in the back wall of their classroom large enough for an adult to walk through.
Since its construction in 1990, the school had received very little maintenance. Heavy rains over the years had eroded the structure, but – as is all-too-common in Northern Ghana – there were few resources to complete needed renovations.
The Ghana Education Service declared the classroom unsafe for use, and since there is no other space for children to study, their parents kept them home. School attendance, always at risk for a variety of health and social reasons, plummeted to zero until funds could be sourced to rebuild the classroom.
The School Management Community and the Parent-Teacher Association, working with Canadian Feed The Children’s local partner in Sang, RAINS, met to find a solution. “When the wall of the school building collapsed, we were very lucky no child was hurt, but as parents we were still concerned about our children’s ability to go to school,” said Mr. Yakubu, PTA chairman of this school. So, Sang women and men committed to provide support for renovating the classroom.
Parents provided labour, fetched water to mold bricks, plastered the walls and put a roof on the classroom. During the construction period, the community also provided a secure storage area for building supplies.
With CFTC donor support, RAINS was able to purchase building materials and hire local carpenters, masons and painters. For community members, working closely with artisans increased their construction skills, which they can now use in their own individual and community projects.
The classroom was finished at the end of August, just in time to begin the new academic year. Children are happy to be back, and with a safe learning environment, teachers can now focus on delivering quality lessons that engage students and foster learning.
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