A deserted school on a Friday
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A recent visit to Tuanikope Basic School, located on one of the Ada East Islands, revealed that there are no school activities for pupils and students, including those preparing for the BECE, on Tuesdays and Fridays.

This visit, conducted on Friday, July 5, 2024, around 10:00am, found the school without teachers or students.

Around 11:00am, a young boy, estimated to be between 5 and 6 years old, was seen wandering in his school uniform, looking helpless. He eventually left as none of his peers or teachers were present.

Community leaders, concerned about this situation, spoke to our news team. The town’s chief expressed his worries, noting that the teachers’ absence on these days is negatively impacting the children’s education. Despite his efforts, he has been unable to resolve the issue with the teachers.

Raphael Tordzagala, Chairman of the Parent-Teacher Association, also voiced his dissatisfaction with the conduct of the teachers and the headmaster.

He shared his personal experience, saying, “I am a trained teacher with a certified certificate from Ada College of Education, obtained seven years ago, but I have not been posted since my National Service. After my service, I assisted at the school, hoping for a posting and some compensation, but that did not happen. So, I stopped assisting.”

Former students also blamed their poor performance in the BECE on this issue. Some reported scores of 42, 30, and 34, among others. Many of these former students have not received placements to further their education and have resorted to petty trading and fishing.

The news team followed up with the Ada East District Education Directorate for a response.

Plahar, the Public Relations Officer, confirmed that some schools on the island do not operate on Tuesdays and Fridays due to the lack of an official boat for the teachers.

However, he mentioned that plans are underway to resolve this issue.

“The directorate is trying its best to provide the teachers with official canoes, outboard motors, and life jackets to assist them in crossing the river to island communities,” he added.

Until these challenges are addressed, innocent children will continue to miss school, a situation that will significantly impact their future.

By Joseph Armstrong Gold-Alorgbey