I revisited a school this morning by request of the headteacher. He was holding a PTA meeting and wanted me to be there. The PTA here are more like Governors. I arrived at the appointed 8.30am to discover that nobody else had arrived, as I rather anticipated. One day I shall arrive somewhere an hour late assuming "Ghana Time" and I shall have missed it all. Unlikely, actually, but you have to set a good example.
I taught some English to a class for a few minutes before the teacher arrived and took over. Eventually, the pupils were ushered out of the classroom and a group of adults moved in. Few looked young enough to have children of Primary School age. A couple of young mums slept through the first 2 hours, heads on desks. It was the elders of the community who had most to contribute. I don't know what they contributed as the whole 3.5hrs was conducted in Dagaare. I managed to sneak a peep at the minutes of the last meeting which were in English and peered over the shoulder of the teacher writing minutes today. There was a lot about attendance and the building of a bridge to allow more pupils to attend in rainy seasons. They are hoping for a borehole so that drinking water does not have to be carried a mile or so to the school in large basins.
The meeting was well attended by 23 people from the community. The head asked me to speak in favour of persuading more parents to send their children to school, especially the girls. Also, to encourage the elders to put pressure on the contractors to finish the building and provide him with an office. I hope my efforts were what he wanted.. I learned during this meeting, that the school had only English and maths text books, no other books at all. As a new school there were no arrangements for it to be furnished or supplied with equipment & books. The school has it's Capitation allowance of very little and this year are buying drums. Drums are a necessity in schools and come before pretty much everything else........including books, apparently. I watched, nervously, out of the shutters as a second storm cloud deposited gallons of water over the school roof. The journey there was along a sandy lane that would now be a stream. How would Michael and I get home? Luckily, the head offered to "pick" me back to Nadowli on my own bike. I readily agreed and the journey was painless.