Aftermath of floods in North Tongu: Schools being held under trees

Five weeks after schools reopened, many children in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region still have no access to their classrooms.

Some now attend classes under trees and others under tents because their classrooms still serve as safe havens for people displaced by the floods caused by the spillage from the Akosombo and Kpong dams.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the District Director of Education, Isabella Ayimey, indicated that the worst-hit community was Mepe.

She said there were 14,704 learners in basic and senior high schools (SHSs) in the district before the floods, but a little over 9,000 were back in school.

She explained that some learners had not returned to school because their parents had relocated to other districts.

Mrs Ayimey said for now, teaching and learning was ongoing in 21 schools in the district, while 27 were struggling to get back onto their feet.Â

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Last week, the Daily Graphic visited the area to find out how schools were faring following the reopening and also the challenges they were confronted with.

During the tour of the area, it was observed that some displaced persons were yet to return to their homes and were still occupying their temporary abodes.

For instance, in some of the schools, learners were crammed in some of the classrooms, while the displaced occupied the other classrooms.

To ease the congestion, it was further observed that some classes were held under tents.

Among those schools were Mepe Presbyterian Primary, Fodzoku E.P. Primary and Agbetikpo Primary.


The North Tongu District Director of Education explained that UNICEF and the Ghana Education Service (GES) had provided those tents to create space for classes to be held as the displaced occupants of the classrooms could not be sent away.

She said although the floods had largely receded, some schools were still occupied by water.

She said to help the children make up for the lost time during the disaster, the affected schools had been asked to go over the lessons held for the learners before the floods before starting the new scheme for the term.

Furthermore, learners in the affected schools would have to return to school early, just after the Christmas holidays, to make up for lost lessons.

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Meanwhile, 286 of the 487 teachers displaced by the floods in the district had returned to their duty posts, she said.

However, Mrs Ayimey disclosed further that they were faced with severe accommodation problems because they had lost their rooms to the floods, a situation that had compelled some of the teachers to also sleep in classrooms, while others were commuting from Aflao, Akatsi, Accra and Ho daily to work in Mepe.

To alleviate that situation, the traditional authorities in Mepe had offered 12 rooms to the needy teachers, said Mrs Ayimey.

Also, the floods displaced 48 officers of the District Education Office, as well as the office; thus, officials of the District Education Office were now working in shifts as a result of the problem and to avoid congestion.

Mrs Ayimey acknowledged a donation of GH¢100,000 from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP), Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, to teachers who lost their rooms to the floods, saying that would relieve them greatly of their rent payment.

She further expressed gratitude to the various donor groups, including the district assembly, traditional authorities, the MP and UNICEF, for their immense support to schools with learning and other materials to keep them running.

Source – Graphiconline

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