Set up to fail: Documentary reveals deadly school buildings in rural Ghana

Source: Hotline/
Date: 3rd-october-2017 Time:  7:16:13 pm

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At the Chinderi SDA School, the clouds start gathering. Soon it begins the drizzle. There’s a storm that’s whistling through the school, carrying with it pieces of the thatched roof.

The classrooms built of clay, bear deep cracks and are on the verge of splitting apart. They are death traps! Suddenly, school closes and everyone is set to a confused, disorderly haste.

Children, from kindergarten to junior high school, are seen running helter skelter. Their books splatter the compound in their rush for shelter. This is no fiction; it’s a reality and a norm in a rural school in Ghana.

The protagonist in this piece is 13-year-old Emmanuel Ofosu.

After the downpour at the Chinderi SDA Junior High School, all lessons for the day are called off. A pupil, Emmanuel Ofosu, goes home after being beaten by the rain. He picks up his notebook and now he tells our reporters this:“As at now, I’m trying to get something into my head and I’m trying as much as possible to pass my BECE and then go to secondary school and eventually become a doctor. But if I don’t pass I know I have tried…I’ve done my best.”

The Hotline team travelled to schools in other districts including Sene East and Krachie Nchumuru, and discovered a lot more worrying realities:

  • More than 20 schools in the district do not have textbooks.  
  • At least eight schools in the district have been marked as death traps and require urgent attention
  • Many of the schools visited have never been renovated
  • In some of the schools, three classes have been combined

Many of these children have no textbooks. Not even their teacher does.

Most of these schools were built through communal labour by residents seeking to have their children have their children go to school.

A building like this one (above) is a potential killer. The wooden pillars will soon give away. Disaster looms.


They fell set up to fail. They have no choice. They are troubled.






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