According to reports reaching this newspaper, academic activities at the John Wesley Pearson High School have been upgraded, with the result being tougher measures put in place to have students focus on their lessons.
Speaking to the Daily Observer in Ganta recently, the District Education Officer (DEO) of Bain Garr, Alex Wuo, said for too long J. W. Pearson was considered a dumping ground due to the lack of seriousness of some of the students and staff, and pledged that under his leadership, the school will be transformed into one of the best public schools in the country.
Commenting further, DEO Wuo said, in the past, the school was not a great enforcer of discipline, which resulted in students loitering around the campus during school hours, something he said brought about mass failure, both in local as well as the WAEC exams.
“But, presently,” he said, “the school is under control and the students are doing well in their lessons.”
Wuo said when he took over as DEO, he decided to fence the school to keep the students confined and focused on their lessons. “The fencing of the school has restricted random movement of students and ordinary citizens within the school premises.
“The government school will longer be called a dumping ground and nobody will enter this fence without permission,” he said.
J. W. Pearson is the leading public school in Ganta, with over 1000 students in the high school level, while the elementary is host to over 900 students.
The fencing of the school is one of most talked about developments on the streets of Ganta, because it has at least put a stop to students loitering as it used to be.
“Currently, you can’t even detect whether the school is going on, until you get into the classes,” said a lady in Ganta. “This school used to be called dumping ground and school for poor children, where you see students all around during school hours, but now things are going on fine,” said an elderly man.
“In my leadership as DEO of this populated district, I want all public high schools to be fenced to stop the kids from loitering and get serious with their lessons,” Wuo said.
“If the campuses are fenced, we will have no difficulty in putting these kids under control and no child will leave the campus or classroom during the lesson period; at the same time we are making sure that teachers are on time for all the classes.”
Although he did not reveal the cost of the fencing, the DEO said it was accomplished with funds from student registration fees, of which 65% is available to the school for such developments.
The principal of J. W. Pearson, Nyan Taylor Guanue, Jr., buttressed the DEO’s comments and said the fencing of the school has brought relief to the school’s administration and stopped motorcyclists from loitering around the campus.
Speaking further, the DEO explained that even though there are some qualified teachers and good textbooks, “there is no functional laboratory in any of our schools in Ganta.”
He said the school has requisite textbooks and teaching staff, but the lack of a lab is hampering the science department, where Peace Corps volunteers teaching at the school find it difficult to fully meet up with their objectives.
DEO Wuo is calling on the government to send in more qualified teachers in the areas of chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics and English.
He observed that most of students across Ganta failed in English in the last West African Examination Council test, something he said was due to lack of good English teachers.