Africa Education Watch, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has called on the Ghana education Service (GES) to liaise with the Ghana National Fire Service and the respective district security committees to organise school fire prevention/safety outreach exercises in all senior high schools (SHSs).
In addition, it said the Ministry of Education should provide emergency funding towards the provision of temporary residential facilities while repair works at the various dormitories should commence as soon as possible.
“Africa Education Watch notes with concern that in the past two weeks alone, fire has gutted key infrastructure and facilities of five senior high schools (SHS): the Buipe SHS—Buipe, Islamic Girls SHS—Wa, Accra Academy SHS— Bubuashie, Oppong Memorial SHS—Kokofu and Boa Amponsem SHS—Dunkwa-On-Offin,” a statement signed by the Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Mr Kofi Asare, said.
It said the frequency, nature and outcome of the fires remained a source of concern as all the fires occurred in the dormitories when students were in the classroom.
“In all, about 1,500 students have been affected, with many sent home.
We recognise that the dry season is usually the peak season for infernos. However, six fire outbreaks in five dormitories in five senior high schools leave much to be desired, especially when students are preparing for their West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).
We note that the Ghana National Fire Service has already commenced its usual investigations into the fires,” it said.
The investigative reports into the fire outbreaks, it said, must be made public and should feed into the GES’ school safety strategies to ensure that civil society organisations and the media are able to track the compliance of schools /GES with the recommendations in the reports.
The assurance of a safe school environment, it said, was a pre-requisite for quality teaching and learning.