Scorpions Chasing Special Needs Students

…As ECG Leaves Garden City Special School In Darkness Since February Over GH₵66,000 Debt

Students of the Garden City Special School at Asokore Mampong in the Ashanti Region, have found themselves in a difficult situation, after they were kept in darkness since February 14, 2024, due to GH₵66,000 debt the school owed power distributor; Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

According to the headmistress of the school, Dr Roseline Frempomaa Adjepong, the situation has led to scorpions attacking the students at night, with two of the venomous animals killed this week.

She wondered how management would explain to parents, if the scorpions had managed to enter where the students sleep and end up biting any of the children?

“Whatever it is, the bills will be paid but how can we continue to let these children sleep in darkness? Yesterday, they killed two scorpions near where the boys are sleeping. What if they enter the rooms and they bite somebody’s child. How will we explain it?” she quizzed.

She said some of the male , are currently sleeping in the classroom at the mercy of the weather, after the boys’ dormitory, has also caved in.

Dr Roseline Adjepong, who described the school’s challenges as “hell” said all efforts to help restore electricity to the school by the respective authorities, have proven futile.

She said, “It’s been hell; I will say it that way. As at now, ECG says, until we pay, they will not put the lights on for us, but where are we getting the money to pay? Nobody pays school fees here. We don’t do any IGF here, so where do we get the money? So, until government releases feeding grant to the school, it means we won’t have any money. So, are we going to continue sleeping in the darkness?”

The headmistress, who narrated her ordeal in a JoyNews interview and monitored by The Anchor, said she has been running from one office to another with letters to get the issue resolve, but without success.

“I’ve been running up and down from their office, regional office, to the district office. They asked me to make letters, I did the letter, I sent it to district office I went there to follow up with the letter and I was told it has been endorsed and taken to the region. I went to the region, because I wanted to meet the regional director and I explained to him that yes, we know the school owes ECG but these are children who are vulnerable”.

She said efforts by the Municipal Director of Education and other officials to get ECG, to restore power to the school, had been unsuccessful.

Difficult term

The visibly disturbed headmistress, said things have been hard for them, particularly in this term, as the school is fully government sub-vented and does not charge any school fees from learners.

“And this particular term, it’s been a bit hard for us in the school because, the males dormitory roof got ripped off, so they are sleeping in the classrooms. And for them sleeping in the classrooms and no light, it means some of them will not sleep”.

Dr Agyapong, expressing her frustration, called on government to pay urgent attention to the needs of special schools in the country, including Garden City Special School.

“The government needs to pay more attention to children with disabilities in Ghana, especially their education. These children are often neglected in everything, and that is not right,” she added that.

The Garden City Special School, is the only basic segregated government facility for learners with special education needs (Intellectual and Developmental disabilities) in the Ashanti Region, parts of Eastern, Western, and Northern Regions, and has about 192 learners.



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