The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) funded child-friendly school, otherwise referred to as Francis Manweah Public School, is embarking on an annex worth about US$91,000.
At the groundbreaking ceremony recently, Principal Rannie Gbatu said the construction of the annex comes due to the overcrowding of the school to the extent that a single classroom now accommodates about 75 students.
Gbatu said the school was initially constructed for classes up to junior high level, but due to the influx of students as well as the demand for public schools in the community, the administration, with support from the Parent Teachers Association (PTA), decided to elevate it to high school.
The child-friendly school started three years ago. However, according to Mr. Gbatu, since then there has been an influx of high school students, which makes student enrollment imperative, thus compelling the administration to construct an annex for additional classrooms, in order to cope with the influx.
The school recently graduated about 103 students, something of which the principal boasted, because of the school’s success in this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), where about 75 percent of the senior students scored high marks in nearly all the nine subjects.
The school was constructed by UNICEF as pilot project for students to learn extra curriculum activities, including “preaching of peace messages among community dwellers depicting the name; Child Friendly School.”
The school was expected to have a minibus to transport students that live Guinean/Liberian border near Ganta, and a mini radio station to air peace messages, but these materials are yet to be available up to press time last night.
The laboratory has remained empty, “but we are still lobbying for money to have this annex completed and also equip our lab,” said Mr. Gbatu.
There are 13 high schools in Ganta, three of them being government-owned. The increase in tuition in private schools is putting tension on public schools, where student enrollment has increased dramatically.