The St. Francis Junior High and Primary Schools here in Jirapa like so many other schools in the Jirapa Municipality is saddle with a number of challenges that hamper teaching and learning and by extension the general output of the performance of students.

The school, being run by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, a society of Catholic Nuns based in Jirapa are facing these challenges headon and some successes have been accomplished, making teaching and learning a little bit more conducive for the teachers and students.

Some of the challenges the school is faced with are dilapidated school buildings, erosion, lack of water and some basic amenities such as urinals and toilet facilities among others.

The management of the school, headed by a catholic nun, Rev. Sr. Shalini Ekka, an Indian who has been in the school for over twenty years has sought to find solutions to some of these challenges which is providing dividends.

With support of some friends from Canada, the school has been able to put up and furnish a computer laboratory which can boast of over twenty-eight computers, a printer a photocopier and a printer.

Unfortunately, the roof of the laboratory was ripped off by a rain storm but was fortunately re-roofed and rewired by the benevolence of the Canadian donors, returning the facility to normal operation.

A total number of 192 metal single desks have so far been procured and supplied with some still under construction making it conducive for the students to conveniently sit for classes.

The school blocks and staff common room have also been renovated for both the primary and junior high schools with the flooring reconstructed and the doors and windows replaced with metal ones.

With the support of the donors, a borehole has been sunk with some four trips of sand being provided to help in checking the erosion that is threatening the school buildings although more needs to be done.

The school is one of the best performing public schools in the Jirapa Municipality and is always graded first or second in performance in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), all the students who sat in the last BECE examination gained placement into senior high school.

According to Rev. Sr. Ekka, the problems of the school are far from being over because the school is in urgent need of fencing for security reasons and from encroachment from private developers.

She says the school is in need of teaching staff especially science teachers which currently has over 152 students with about 60 students in the three classrooms.

Sr. Ekka has described the Parent Teacher Association as vibrant and that it has played a pivotal role in the renovation of the school.

She says the Ghana Education Service has played its part by providing teachers and all the materials provided to public schools, and that they are also given the capitation grant all public schools are enjoying.

Rev. Sr. Ekka and her team are not relenting in their efforts to do more to facilitate improved academic performance.

They are therefore appealing to individuals and organisations to help in fencing the school to prevent encroachment, reduce erosion and the ensure security of the school to reduce or stop the petty theft of things such as furniture and light bulbs.


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