The Minister of State in charge of Public Procurement and Member of Parliament (MP) for Dome-Kwabenya Constituency, Hon. Lawyer Sarah Adwoa Safo, has cut sod for the construction of a classroom block for the Atomic Hills Demonstration Schools at Atomic Hills Estate in the Ga East Municipality.
The Atomic Hills Demonstration Schools, with a population of over 1,400, has been grappling with inadequate classrooms and other teaching and learning facilities over the years since most parents within the community and beyond desire to have their children in the school owing to its academic excellence.
This situation has largely contributed to the over population of the school prompting the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of the school to come to their aid by constructing a classroom block.
However, the ever increasing population of the school continues to be a nightmare and of grave concern to both school authorities and parents and with a seeming hopelessness in finding solution to the situation, luck has finally smiled on them as the MP for the area, Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo, has come in to construct an ultramodern classroom block to ameliorate the burden of over populated classrooms.
The project, a One-storey 3-Unit Classroom Block with Library and Computer Laboratory facilities, upon completion, is expected to ease the overcrowding situation of the school and enhance teaching and learning leading to improved performances in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
Scores of people including traditional leaders, faith-based leaders, Assembly Members, residents in and around Atomic Hills Estate and Ashongman Estate, party faithful and teachers and peoples converged at the school to witness the ground-breaking ceremony for the project.
Addressing the gathering, Hon. Lawyer Sarah Adwoa Safo, who is also the Deputy Majority Leader of Parliament, underscored the need for children to develop the zest for reading in their early stages of development which according to her can happen if they have requisite learning facilities and materials at their disposal.
She noted that the dire need of the school for additional classrooms has been on her heart for long since discovering the overcrowding situation following her numerous visits to the school, hence the move to find a solution to it.
She assured the school authorities and stakeholders that the construction works will commence within a week after the sod-cutting.
“This is not a promise that I am going to build in the future and I believe in keeping to your word. As the Headmistress said, they did not make a request to me but I’ve visited this school many times, I see the population and the infrastructure and nobody will tell you that the number of students you are seeing would not even fit in the classroom. If students are crowded in a classroom, Educationists will tell you that it doesn’t even make learning effective”
Comparing the standard size of a classroom with what pertains in the advanced countries with 10 pupils per class, the Hon. Minister bemoaned the situation of the Atomic Hills Demonstration school which is said to have class sizes as large as 70, describing it as
“As a mother and then your representative in the constituency, I thought it wise that if I build a block here, it will not solve all your problems but at least it will solve a larger extent of your problem which is decongestion of your classrooms”, she stressed.
The Acting Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) and Municipal Coordinating Director (MCD) of the Ga East Municipal Assembly (GEMA), Alhaji Shehu Awudu Kadiri, praised the MP for her visionary and supportive drive towards the advancement of the municipality especially in the areas of education and health.
“Clearly, in the annals of this municipality, it will go down in no uncertain terms about the flamboyance and the speedy way that our Honourable Member has attended to the numerous socio-economic challenges that we have had to confront with in the municipality. Even before I came into the municipality, I saw a lot that she had already initiated”.
Alhaji Shehu Awudu Kadiri, on behalf of the Assembly, used the occasion to congratulate the MP on her ascension to the position of Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament and appointment by the President as Minister of State at the Presidency responsible for Public Procurement.
The Headmistress of the School, Mrs Felicia Boateng, expressed hearty appreciation for the wonderful gesture done them by the Honourable MP and appealed for support to address other pressing needs of the school including a canteen, drains to prevent erosion and a fence wall to fend off encroachers and the mentally challenged people who stroll on the compound of the school.
The Greater Accra Regional Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and Assembly Member of GEMA, Hon. Archibold Cobbina, charged people in the municipality in particular and the region as a whole to support government’s efforts in finding solution to the perennial flooding in some areas.
He urged the residents to be responsible and law-abiding and desist from practices which contribute to flooding such as indiscriminate dumping of refuse into gutters and building on water-ways.
Chairman for the function, Mr. Daniel Adjei, also thanked the MP for the great gift she is giving to the school.
He appealed to the MP to help mediate and solve the impasse between the school authorities and the community on the management of the Nursery School to ensure a healthy and peaceful co-existence of the various stakeholders of the school for its benefit.
Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo also donated textbooks which contains solved past questions of the BECE to the school and encouraged this year’s candidates to take their studies seriously and come out victors.
By: Okunyin Boaz Orlan-Hackman
Pictures: Stephen Quartey/Nanapanin Akosua Arhin