A Plan for Mpatasie and construction of a school block

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INTRODUCTION: In recent years, the demand for schooling facilities in Ghana especially in the rural areas has risen so rapidly as a result of fee-free education. The rural people who were reluctant to send their sons and daughters to school because these children might be of a greater help to them on the farms, are now anxious to see their children go to school even beyond the Primary School level. This rapid growth of schools has brought the question of provision of facilities especially classroom blocks for these children. Rural settlements therefore started constructing school blocks for the children; because of lack of funds people put up buildings some of which are poor in structure and more often than not some of these buildings are hazardous to lives at places as a result of the poor structural conditions of the buildings. The location of some of these school places also do not meet planning requirements, because these school places were provided without any regard to the catchments areas for these schools. The outcome therefore is that many of these schools provided are not fully used. Obviously education is an important factor in accelerating national developments. The agricultural and industrial developments which are taking place throughout the whole country can flourish if the country examines her needs to gear the teaching in schools to meet these needs. Regrettably, the curriculum of Primary school education in the country especially the schools in the country-side are not designed to train the youths to meet the manpower requirements of the nation. The boys and girls produced by these schools do not fit into any sector in the country’s economy. The effect of this is that children were not trained to suit any place in the country’s planned economy. Rather these boys and girls were trained to be ‘semi-literates’, because they only learnt how to read and write. In many places in the rural areas, it is some of these youths who become the worse type of citizens that any country would least like to have, hence fulfilling the popular saying ‘half education is poisonous’. In these days of national reconstruction, it is essential to examine the manifold problems facing the country, especially in the field of education. The system of primary education obtaining in the country leaves much to be desired. Primary education is the foundation for education at all levels. Therefore a strong and firm foundation is required; but this is not the case with many of our rural schools. Although primary education is growing fast in the country it is poor in content; some of the teachers in the rural schools are unqualified hence the poor standards in most of the rural schools in the country. For the purpose of this study, Primary School education in the country with special reference to rural schools which is related to the type of project undertaken at Mpatasie for this report is examined. Emphasis is given to schools in Antwina Kwamwoma Local Council area where the project is carried out. In the area, an attempt is made to find out the location of schools in relationship with the settlements and the impact of location of these schools on these settlements in the area. Broad proposals are also made for the way rural schools should contribute to the manpower requirements of the nation which allocates 13.5 per cent of her gross national product to education.¹ This report may be divided into three sections. There is the research dealing with the development of Primary School Education in the country since the time of the Missionaries up till the present moment; then follows a study of rural schools in Antwima Kwamwoma Local Council area, in Ashanti where conditions of rural schools were studies in detail. A broad proposal for rural schools in the country was made. This part covers chapters one and two. The next section which is Chapter three deals with a detailed study of a rural settlement where the implementation project is undertaken; this includes the preparation of a plan for the improvement of the settlement. Finally, the last Chapter deals with implementation aspect, which is the construction of a school block for the local middle school. In this Chapter, the author applies the self-help techniques to organize the people in the settlement to undertake the project through communal labour. As implementation is an important aspect in the planning process; emphasis is laid on this so as to improve the rural living conditions not merely by preparing very nice plans for the rural settlements but by seeing to it that these proposals in the plans are actually carried out.
A Project Report presented to the Faculty of Architecture of The University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial Fulfillment of the requirements for the Diploma in Physical Planning, 1968