The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), has said inasmuch as it is concerned about inadequate toilet facilities in a lot of public basic schools, this does not fall within its remit.
NAGRAT’s response follows a report suggesting that 36% of public basic schools are without toilets.
About 7,332 out of the 20,738 public basic schools in the country, do not have toilet facilities, while 6,922 do not have urinal facilities, according to a report released by the Education Management Information System (EMIS) for 2016-2017.
Among the many stakeholders, NAGRAT has been chastised for failing to raise concerns about the current situation.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show however, the incoming President of the Association of NAGRAT, Mr. Angel Carbonu explained that, though NAGRAT is highly interested in the health of students, it is the responsibility of the District Assemblies to ensure that various communities where these schools are located have toilet facilities.
“If we want to add infrastructural facility inadequacy to our challenges then everyday we will be on strike. That is not to say what you are saying is wrong, you are perfectly right, but as teachers we have to be interested in the environment that we teach and the health of the students, but this is under the direct purview of the District Assembly.”
He was however quick to add that NAGRAT will take up the responsibility of pressurizing various authorities to address the problem.
“As an association, we can do advocacy, but the society should be ready when we start raising our voices. We do not want people to say we overstretching our mandate.”
Mr. Carbonu further indicated that, the situation is prevalent in Ghana because there are no standards for the establishment of schools.
“In Ghana, we have not established standards where we say this can qualify to be a school. Even in some of the schools that we have toilets, go and find out what kind of toilets are there, and whether that toilet is not compromising the health of the students. I think the situation is even worse than the percentage that is being quoted, and that is an area that we have reneged and closed our eyes to. “
“Parents, landlords have built houses even without places of convenient…Now this has been transferred to the type of schools we have in the community.”
Out of the 3,754 public basic schools in the Ashanti Region, 1,427 are without toilet facilities, and in the Western Region 1,132 out of the 2,408 schools are without toilets.
In the Upper West Region, out of the 1,165 schools, 350 are without toilets.
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana