NGO sounds alarm over illegal dormitories in junior high schools

The Foundation of Generational Thinkers, FOGET, a youth empowerment non-governmental organization, NGO, has decried the creeping introduction of emergency boarding houses into private day schools in many parts of the country especially Accra.

In a press statement issued in Accra, the NGO noted with sadness an unfortunate situation happening in the educational sector which if not checked and corrected will turn the administration of the many junior secondary schools into breeding grounds for future teenage and underage mothers.

FOGET in its statement raised an alarm about how proprietors and headmasters of many private junior secondary schools have in the bid to boost the academic fortunes of their schools and wards have created quasi emergency boarding houses to host the pupils.

“We have a situation whereby junior secondary school students preparing to sit the Basic Education Certificate Examination, BECE, are asked to attend extra classes which sometimes involves them temporarily spending the nights also on the campus where classrooms have been converted into emergency dormitories.

“This is especially true of the private schools which were not designed or built without boarding facilities attached leading to lack of proper supervision by the teachers leaving room for them to engage in juvenile sexual experiments leading sometimes to unwanted pregnancies and all its ramifications,” statement from FOGET points out.

In the statement signed by its president, Prosper Afetsi, the NGO said having visited over 50 schools in the Darkuman, Dansoman, Sakaman and Odorkor areas of Accra while conducting a survey, it discovered that the basic schools have adopted a practice whereby they create emergency dormitories for their final year students about to write the BECE in the guise of keeping them together to learn for the examinations.

“To FOGET, this is not a step in the right direction; these academic facilities lack the wherewithal to be called dormitories and therefore are not fit to accommodate these students for even a night.

“Of the over 50 schools we visited, we discovered that at least 35 of them are operating these illegal boarding houses with the connivance of parents some of who are not aware of the reality.

“Most of these schools do not have even bathrooms thereby forcing the students to use the urinals as bath houses, an unhygienic practice apart from the fact that they are away from their parents who cannot vouch for the moral standing of all teachers and students’ the statement continued.

According to FOGET since these schools want to adopt the practice of running a third term boarding facility, it is the responsibility of both the Ministry of Education, MoE; Ghana Education Service, GES and the Association of Private Schools to design the schools and the buildings in such a way that there will be extra rooms purposely built to accommodate the final year students for the examination/revision period.

Failure to do this will only lead the morally weak teachers and their gullible students to venture into territories and issues they have no idea of, the statement concluded.