Primary School Hurdles

The primary schools in the Krobo region are poorly funded. The students must share desks and sit on long wooden benches. There are no books for the students. Only the teacher has a text book, so all information is written on the blackboard. Thus, students must diligently copy the information into their notebooks. While this is similar to how students in the US learn, those in the Krobo region of Ghana have no books to refer back to when studying for their exams. Their notebooks are their one and only source of information.

Besides lacking materials, the students also persevere through very uncomfortable conditions. The average daily temperature is 90 degrees, with the only ventilation coming through slats in the walls. Many of the primary schools do not even have electricity. Furthermore, many students often come to school hungry. Imagine the drive and focus it must take to furiously take down the detailed notes from the blackboard in this extreme heat and on an empty stomach.

Although primary schools are “technically free,” students are required to pay for their uniforms, back packs, notebooks, pencils, papers and in many cases even their own soap and toilet paper. The fees that come as a surprise are the exam fees. Students are required to pay to take their exams. Many students from a very young age work in the market place or the fields to earn money to pay for the supplies they need just to attend primary school.