Accommodation challenges facing the Mangoase Senior High School (MASS)have compelled the headmaster of the school to cede part of his two bedroom bungalow to female students of the school.

Close to 50 students are occupying the headmaster’s kitchen and sitting room, with some sleeping on about 20 beds available, while others sleep on mattresses on the floor.

To enter his room, the Headmaster, Mr. Albert K. Worfa, passes through the garage, while cooking is done in the open.

There is blockade that prevents the students from interfering with the headmaster’s space and privacy, and vice versa.

The school has a boarding population of 420 with 270 girls and 150 boys.

On a hot day, life becomes very uncomfortable. Ceiling fans spin furiously in vain to blow away the steamy hot air flooding in form the compound.

One student sums up the problem: “the room feels like an oven. Sleeping here with our bags as pillows is very difficult”.

The only bath house for the 270 girls is a ramshackle structure that can take only six students at a time.

“In the morning, long queues are formed here just for us to bath and prepare for school,” another student said.

If the situation for the girls is bad, that of the boys is no different. Besides the struggle for decent accommodation, there is no water at the boy’s dormitory and the students have to rely on the heavily polluted River Densu for their domestic activities.

Their woes do not end there because there is no dining hall, the students are forced to use their classrooms or any convenient place to take their meals.

The library is a room that best qualifies to be a storeroom, as stacks of books compete with sewing machines and some foodstuffs. The only bookshelf is neatly packed with books described by the students as “irrelevant to our subjects”.

That is not all. The computer laboratory is virtually on hibernation, as close to 1,000 students have to devise means to study Information and Computer Technology, which is now a core subject in SHS, with eight computers that, on a bad day, only blink and stay on for the rest of the day.

Opened on January 27, 1992, MASS is among the most deprived Senior High Schools in the country.

The school, located at Tetteh-Kofi village near Mangoase in the Akuapem North District in the Eastern Region, is accommodated in the buildings of defunct Suhum Cocoa Project.

Domestic animals take advantage of the absence of a school wall to roam on the school compound, leaving behind trails of animal droppings.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic, Mr. Worfa was opened as a community school but later adopted the hostel system to enable students from outside Mangoase to access secondary education in the area.

The hostel system had been transformed into the boarding system, while the school awaited approval from the GES.

To deal with accommodation, the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETfund) has started the construction of two single-storey buildings to meet the accommodation needs of the students.

With all those challenges, results of the school in the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) can be very predictable, even though efforts to get the school’s WASSCE results over the years did not prove successful.

The headmaster told Daily Graphic that the performance of the students was average.

The new Chairman of the Board of Governors of MASS, Mr. Ransford Tetteh promised that the days of deprivation and struggle would soon be over for the school because of government’s commitment to support deprived schools.

He gave an assurance that the board would do all it could to change the face of the school and leave it better than it was now.

Mr. Tetteh, who shared his experience as a child in a community not far from Mangoase, said, “we can life ourselves from this small community and challenge all the big schools in Ghana and make it to the university if we are determined to. There are people from those big schools who are not able to qualify for the university”.

Source: Daily Graphic

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