Pupils of the Yaase-Adwafo D/A Primary and Junior High School in the Bosomtwe District of the Ashanti region on Monday morning boycotted lessons and took to the streets to demonstrate against the incessant defecation by the townsfolk inside their classrooms, MyNewsGh.comreports.
The hundreds of pupils, accompanied by their teachers marched through the principal streets of the Yaase town, wielding placards with the inscription, “stop defecating in our classrooms”.
They say they are unable to cope with having to clean human excreta from their classrooms on almost on a daily basis; a situation, they say is affecting teaching and learning in that school.
Headmaster of the school, Paul Addai tells Kumasi-based Angel FM in an interview monitored by MyNewsGh.com that, they have been forced to pour out onto the streets because several complaints to the authorities of the town have fallen on deaf ears.
“It has been going on for a long time, but since school reopened this term, it has gotten worse; they come and defecate in the school every day and we always have to let the pupils fetch water to scrub the class, but today we are fed up” he said.
He conceded that the practice is “affecting teaching and learning in the school and if care is not taken, there would be an outbreak of diseases; we have informed the Unit Committee, the assemblyman and the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) but the recalcitrant residents are still defecating in our classrooms, so it has gotten to a point that, we have to voice out our frustrations”.
Assemblyman for the Yaase Electoral Area, Isaac Mensah has said efforts have been put in place to arrest the perpetrators of the practice, but the activities of some churches in the classrooms at night have made it difficult to determine who goes to the school with a sinister motive.
He expressed shock at the development, because there is a decent toilet facility in both the Yaase and Adwafo communities.
Cases of open defecation in schools are widespread in rural Ashanti region as landlords and district assemblies struggle to provide decent toilet facilities to households and communities.
According to UNICEF, “as at 2015, only one rural household out of ten were using improved household toilets while three in every ten of them practiced open defecation and not a single district in Ghana has achieved an open defecation-free status”.