Kaleo SHTS teachers and students suffering after contractor abandoned project

Since 2016, the academic performance of students and faculty at Kaleo Senior High Technical School (KASHTS), located in the Upper West Region’s Nadowli-Kaleo District, has been significantly impacted by the absence of a functional scientific laboratory.

The school struggles with traffic and subpar facilities, like dorms, even though it is a pure science school and has been taking part in the National Science and Maths Quiz Competition.

With 1,638 students, the Catholic Church founded the school in 1991. It offers courses in general science, general arts, home economics, agriculture, building and construction, woodworking, and metalworking.

Despite its contributions to education over the years, the school is plagued with a myriad of challenges including the lack of a well-equipped Science Laboratory, inadequate dormitories for girls and inadequate classroom blocks.

The absence of a well-equipped spacious science lab compels management to still rely on a room that was dedicated for General science Lab built 33-years ago, which comes with limited seating capacity coupled with outdated equipment for the increased student population.

As a pure Science and Technical school, academic excellence cannot be attained without a proper furnished science laboratory, and this in 2016 informed the government’s decision to award the construction of a new science laboratory which is at an advanced stage of completion.

But work has stalled since 2017 with the contractor abandoning the project due to delays in payment by government.

The building was about 90 per cent complete awaiting just the installation of the equipment before it was abandoned by the contractor due to lack of financial commitment from the Government, our sources have said.

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According to authorities, all efforts made by the school to bring back the contractor to site to see to the completion of the project were unsuccessful.

Some students who are largely affected by the actions and inactions of the contractor and government vented their frustrations while appealing to the government to take steps to ensure the completion and handing over of the project to them for use.

A chemistry student and a victim as well, Bacho Timotay Naasotin, said the lack of a well-equipped science lab is a major factor in their abysmal performance at the National Science and Maths quiz competition the school has been participating in.

Anwull Joyce, a form three General Science student said: “Anytime a master is to undertake an experiment, the master could use as much as about 30 minutes to set up the lab. And before he starts to even take us through the process, the next master is already on us also ready to use the same lab. And that is greatly affecting our studies.”

“Ever since we came to this school, our science practical has been so weak and as the saying goes, practice makes man perfect, but in our situation, it is worsening our stay and course we are studying,” Angsie Jacob, another Agric student lamented.

Sylvester Sungbaahee, Head of the Science Department and a past student of the school, said the deplorable nature of the old Science lab is causing huge inconveniences among both teachers and students as they are unable to conduct certain experiments.

He continued by saying that the government’s efforts to improve STEM education across the nation are being thwarted by the absence of a well-equipped laboratory at the institution.

Thus, he is fervently pleading with the government to urgently take the required action and call the contractor to clear the road so they may finish the job.

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Teacher, Blogger, Comic writer, riveting stories concerning the Ghanaian citizenry and the world at large.

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