The Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Dr Eric Nkansah, has announced that teaching and learning has resumed in 81 out of 108 schools affected by the Akosombo spillage in nine districts recently.
He stated that “we are also making good progress working with key stakeholders to restore teaching and learning in the remaining 27 schools within the North Tongu District, which, for the most part, are used as camps and Safe Havens by displaced households”.
“Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that all schools affected by the floods resume teaching and learning activities within the shortest possible time”. He said.
Dr Eric Nkansah disclosed this to the media over the weekend after a three-day working visit to the nine districts affected by the spillage of the Akosombo dam by the Volta River Authority (VRA).
The DG (right) interacting with the Manklalo of the Mepe traditional area Torgbe Korsi Nego VI during the visit
About two weeks ago, the Minister for Education, the GES and other agencies of the Ministry visited the affected areas of the Akosombo spillage to assess and evaluate an emergency response to the disaster.
Follow up trip
The DG’s visit with key Directors from the GES Headquarters was a follow-up to the Minister’s visit and to evaluate the implementation of the Education in Emergency Plan put in place by the Ghana Education Service.
During that visit, the DG also donated some relief items to the communities involved with items such as tents to be mounted as temporary classrooms and have also distributed learners and teachers in some affected areas to unaffected schools in the same or nearby communities.
With the support of UNICEF and other development partners, the DG handed over 3,000 school uniforms, 800 packs of teaching and learning materials, 10 boxes of school-in-a-box kits, 4 tents, 36 packages of recreation kits, and 32 Early Childhood Development kits to the affected communities.
The DG indicated that they had so far worked collaboratively as one people to achieve this feat, thanking God for preserving the lives of all the learners and their parents in these challenging times.
He commended the efforts of the Volta Regional Minister, Dr Yao Archibald Letsa, the Regional Director of Education, Mr. Francis Agbemadi, the District Directors of Education, the traditional authorities, the DCEs and MPs of the nine (9) affected districts, for their immense contributions towards restoring teaching and learning in our schools.
Following the spillage of the Akosombo dam by the VRA as their routine exercise to help save the dam from collapse, some communities were submerged by the large volume of water travelling downstream.
This flooding left in its trail the collapsing of various buildings including schools and displaced thousands of people along the bank of the Akosombo downstream.
Among the displaced were teachers and their families as well as parents of school children.
This led to the government working through the Education Minister to put in place the implementation of the Education in Emergency Plan to restore teaching and learning in the affected communities and schools.
As part of Dr Nkansah’s working visit to the Volta Region, he met with stakeholders in the hardest hit areas including the traditional leaders of the Mepe Traditional Area; the Fieve Traditional Area; the DCE for North Tongu, Mr Divine Osborne Fenu; the MP for North Tongu, Mr Okudjeto Ablakwa; and the North Tongu District Director of Education, Mrs Isabella Ayimey.
He also met with Volta Regional Minister, Dr Yao Archibald Letsa, visited staff at the Volta Regional Education Office, and held an Open Forum with staff from the Regional Education Directorate, District Directors from the Volta Region, and other education stakeholders in the Volta Region including members from CODE, COMEU, COHBS, among others.
They discussed among other things the implementation of the ongoing GES Education in Emergency Plan, evaluated progress made so far and identified grey areas for further action.