Some concerned citizens of Asuom and benevolent friends, both home and abroad, have handed over a newly constructed five-classroom block with toilets to Asuom Presbyterian School located at Akyem Asuom in the Kwaebibirem District in the Eastern Region of Ghana.
On February 25, 2018, rainstorm buffeted the school buildings leading to the collapse of one of its blocks [Block B]—a situation which frustrated teaching and learning process in the school.
Headteacher of the school, Mr. Habib Alhassan, shared some of the challenges they had to bear within the period.
He said: “We were greatly distressed by the collapse of the building. As a result, we merged pupils on the block with those on Block A: Pupils in Class 1B combined with those in 1A, likewise other classes up to class 4.
“So the number of pupils per a class doubled. A teacher now takes over 70 pupils. This has burdened the teachers in terms of monitoring the performances of students”
Angel News’ check on the classes revealed that some pupils have been moved into a church building located nearby due to lack of space to accommodate all classes.
Though the church auditorium appears more spacious, there was still a challenge–inadequate desks. Desk usually shared by two students was shared by at least three pupils. Those whose fortunes turned for the worse sat on concrete blocks to have lessons.
The Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) Chairperson, Madam Amedjei Doris, adding to the observation made, noted that students are sometimes sent home to protect them against adverse weather conditions.
She said: “When the weather becomes threatening, the teachers send the little kids home. The structures here are not accommodating and protective enough to shelter them from adverse conditions. The building and its roofing sheets are dilapidated.”
The urgency of the situation incited Madam Ekua Nimsaa, a concerned parent, to call on an aluminus of the school, Mr. Mark Kofi Asamoah, to help contribute to the restoration of the collapsed building.
Being a Germany-based Akyem Asuom native, Mr. Asamoah extended the call to his friends and family both in Asuom and Berlin to help.
On March 12, 2021, two years and five months after the call was made to him, he handed over the newly constructed and well furnished five-classroom block—ICT Lab inclusive—with four toilets costing Two Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (Gh¢200000) to the school at a brief covid-19 compliant ceremony.
Speaking at the ceremony, he indicated that the care for the future of the pupils and Ghana as a whole was the motivation behind his decision to take on the responsibility.
“I reflected on the call together with my wife [Madam Abena Asamoah] and approached Mr. Kwabena Isaac to partner with us to undertake the project because I believe that the progress of our nation rests in our bosom.
“For the care of the children’s future, it was necessary for us to do it, yet not by ourselves alone, but with support from ‘Asuom maa’ and friends abroad,” he said.
Mr. Asamoah who has been philanthropic at various points in time nonetheless expressed disappointments at the inconveniences of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to him, just as the pandemic has negatively impacted organizations and individuals globally, moneys were not forthcoming to undertake the project with expedition.
Having pulled through the challenges, he stressed the need for cooperation among citizens to engender development in their respective communities and not to always depend on Government.
He said: “We often turn to the Government for help in every situation. The Government can’t do all alone. We have to ease the burden on her by taking on some responsibilities ourselves. We need to join hands to do that for the benefit of generations yet unborn.”
The benefactor, alluding to an assistance he got from his Muslim friend on the project, concluded by discouraging racial and religious biases that tend to act as fetters to the progress of the nation.
“We should find means to come together irrespective of our religious affiliations—whether a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist. We are all one people and must maintain that. If a Muslim [Ali Gormez, Berlin] has been able to help build a Christian school, we should be able to imitate it,” he urged.
The ceremony was graced by local government authorities and organizational leaders who commended the benefactors for their efforts to alleviate the challenges of the school and urged people to emulate their behaviour towards the collective good of the nation.
They include Chief of Asuom, Nana Osaberema Ofosu Apenteng II; the Municipal Director for Education, Samuel Ntow Otopah and Local Manager of Asuom Presbyterian Schools, Reverend Emmanuel Aryeh Lartey.