They’re exposed to the cold, dusty and dry winds while at school. They are children, many of them below eight years who want an education.
That’s the reality of some 40 pupils at the Azudooni Primary School at Sirigu in the Upper East Region who are forced to study under trees and under hard weather conditions because there’s no classroom for them.
School authorities say two of the children have died from suspected pneumonia believed to have been caused by the exposure of the children to the harsh weather conditions.
Dominic Akubase doubles as a classroom teacher, handling 4 different classes under the tree. “I have KG 1 combined, P1, P2 under that tree”, he told Joy News.
Two pupils who died from suspected pneumonia are believed to have been triggered by the exposure of the children to the cold, dusty harmattan weather during school hours, according to Akubase.
He lamented that it was difficult to hold classes under the tree during the Harmattan season as the children often get distracted, trying to cope with the discomfort of the cold, dry, dusty weather.
“We lost two of our children this year. The passed away. I want to presume it was due to the dust because we heard they complained of chest pains”, he explained.
The rest of the pupils at Azudooni Primary school study in a structure that can best be described as a death trap.
It is a mud structure with several cracks on the walls. This building accommodates classes 3 to 5 with a total of at least 60 pupils. It is roofed with aluminum zinc and is poorly ventilated, making the classrooms a little dark and warm.
Pupils here say the conditions of their classrooms make learning very difficult.
Moses Aduko, a class 5 pupil said; “when it rains we have to go home and when the sun is hot, the zinc is heated and we can’t learn”.
Moses hopes to become a building engineer in future. His colleagues have big dreams too but their teacher, Godwin Nsoh is afraid that these ambitions will not come easy for these young ones if they have to study under such unbearable conditions.
The Azudooni Primary School was started by the community and officially became a government school in the year 2012 but the government is yet to put up a proper structure for the school.
The teachers sit under a tree to prepare lessons and perform other official duties.
The Headmaster is appealing for help.
For now, getting an education will remain a constant struggle for the children of Azudooni.