In Ghana, schools either belong to the government (public) or are owned by a group of private individuals (private). Government public schools are widespread throughout the country. As a result of their abundance, they receive little attention from the government, especially schools in the rural areas. Once the schools are constructed, the government generally does not provide funding for renovations or upkeep.
Many of these schools have been neglected for years without maintenance or renovation. Consequently, a large number of these schools have poor roofing as the metal sheets can be destroyed with extreme changes in weather, cracked walls that are easily collapsible, cracked and uneven floors, old desks, chalkboards and other school materials etc. All these provide an exceptionally unsafe environment for students and teachers. The rate of new school construction falls far behind the rapid population growth, leaving the area with a deficit of school facilities.
Framework collaborates with the local school districts who provide the teachers, curriculum and administration for the school. We are able to build, renovate and maintain schools at a fraction of the price it would cost the government by using local material and workers – stimulating the village’s economy, as its children are able to attend school.
Amonfro Primary School (Linfield Primary)
Our first project rebuilt a crumbling stick framed school into a durable six classroom cement structure. The school now provides a safe and sheltered environment for over 750 children from around the booming community of Amonfro, Ghana. Drawing on international funding and local talents, the project was successfully completed for a mere $20,000 USD. As an added bonus the construction of the Amonfro Primary School created over 50 jobs over the course of 24 months. The increase in the number of classrooms has also ensured space for 4-5 new educational positions. More importantly the provision of a stable structure and workable teaching conditions has decreased the turnover of the highly valued staff.
Small London Primary School
Just outside the suburban area of the capital city, Accra, along the West African Highway we discovered a small unpaved road heading north towards a farming village called Small London.
The need for a school was immediately apparent. The closest school was over two miles away and only a portion of the 150 or so school-age population, in this and the surrounding two villages, were able to attend school. The distance was even more difficult to travel when the one dirt road was washed out during Ghana’s rainy seasons.
Each time we visited the village there were throngs of kids who were very excited at the prospect of being able to go to school. It was also clear that it is more difficult for girls of the village to be away from the home for a full day as parents are aware of the risks for young girls to be out of the home alone and they are expected to help take care of the domestic duties. Therefore, the new school was especially important and provides more opportunity for their education because they will be able to return home in short notice when needed and will not have to venture out of the community for an education.
Only a few days after beginning our hunt for a new project, we sat down with the chief and the elders of the Small London village to seal the deal on building a six-room school adjacent to the village which can educate 180 to 360 area children. We broke ground two days later and we completed the initial school project in 2012.
In 2016, during Framework’s annual in-person check-in, we visited with the school teachers and village chief to get an update on the community. To our delight, the school was proving to be a success and enrollment was way up, which had led to another issue: overcrowding. The school had become so successful they had run out of space for students. The community pleaded with us to build an additional three classrooms to accommodate the booming attendance and we were able to complete that project in early 2017. This expansion created a total of nine classrooms for Small London Primary.
Akwakwaa Primary School
Our third school project brought us together with our partner organization Building for the Future Generations (BFG). Akwakwah is a farming village located on the Bawjuase Nkwata road. Roughly 35 miles drive from Agona Swedru.
The existing structure was very dilapidated and substandard. The walls are breaking down and the roof was made of dried palm fronds. The school was in this state of disrepair for over seven years. According to the teachers there was no school at all when it rained. We replaced the old structure with 9 new classrooms and the school now serves over 350 students.
Kwansakrom Primary School
Kwansakrom is a community in Agona Swedru, a medium sized city in the Central Region of Ghana. The main occupation there is trading, farming, and building. The Kwansakrom primary school was first established in 1964. The school had six classrooms for 410 pupils. Due to over population in a class, a wooden structure that was meant to be a canteen was converted to an extra classroom. Because this area of Swedru has seen big population growth in recent years the school has become so overcrowded that they were forced to turn students away. We worked with BFG to build out an additional 3 classroom block to allow students who were turned away to return to their studies.