St Charles SHS shut down over fire outbreaks

 

Northern regional education authorities have ordered the immediate shutdown of the St Charles Boys Senior High School (SHS) in Tamale after a string of fire outbreaks caused havoc to two dormitories and left junior students with no accommodation.

 

The mini seminary institution has been closed down for two weeks for authorities to erect temporal buildings to accommodate the affected students, a senior officer of the regional education service told journalists yesterday.

 

The blaze first started on Friday night at a dining hall structure turned into a dormitory, which had no electricity and nearly some 70 students housed in it.

 

And on Monday afternoon, another wild fire engulfed the Cardinal Dery dormitory which housed some 100 students, during learning sessions, destroying dozens of properties.

 

Fire outbreaks at the school, mostly in dormitories, have become more frequent, often leaving buildings and students’ effects reduced to ashes.

 

The school’s enrollment capacity has continued to weaken due to lack of accommodation after a 23 room complex dormitory structure housing 504 learners was destroyed by fire in 2017.

 

The damage forced education authorities to send the students home for weeks.

 

The school was able to admit only 150 students out over 700 that was posted later that year after the storey building was left in ruins.

 

That dormitory is yet to be renovated after multiple visits by authorities from the presidency and government.

 

Monday’s incident, which brought the school to its knees, caused pandemonium and a near stampede after frightened students tried to flee from their classrooms through the classroom windows when they saw smokes coming out from the burning dormitory.

 

The headmaster of the school, Mr. Polycarp Kuusokub, said he was waiting for a decision from his “superiors” on whether to send the students home and shut down the school.

The master explained that, he heard noise by students and came out to see the Cardinal Dery House on fire.

 

He said seven rooms had been affected so far and that fire fighters were still struggling to bring the situation under control.

Mr. Polycarp said Regional Minister, Salifu, and the Education Service authorities had visited the burning infrastructures.

 

 

 

 

Story: Today Correspondent

 

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