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General News of Saturday, 24 November 2012

Source: Dennis Narterh Adzigodi, Ada Foah

Ada Teachers Boycott Classes

For More Than A Week Over Shooting Of Colleague Teacher

More than a week after the tragic shooting of a 35 years old female pupil teacher, Rebecca Wollor at Otrokpe, teachers in the Dangme East district have boycotted classes to mourn their deceased colleague.
The teachers in the district have also called on the Tema Regional Police Commander, DCOP Maxwell Atingane to expedite action into the investigation of the death of their colleague Rebecca Wollor.
They said they want her killer prosecuted if found guilty of ending her life prematurely.
Rebecca Wollor, a Liberian and a former student of Ada College of Education was shot dead by a certain Ebenezer Pediator, a mason who claimed that his target was a bird perched on a tree last week Thursday at Otrokpe a suburb of Ada Foah.
Rebecca, a primary four pupil teacher of Otrokpe D/A primary school met her untimely death between the early hours 6:30am to 7am last week Thursday on her way to school when she was gunned down. Ebenezer Pediator shot the teacher in the head killing her instantly near an uncompleted building in the area and later surrendered himself to the Ada Foah police.
Chief Superintendent John Kofi Yamba, the Ada Foah District Police Commander in an interview told reporters that the accused was provisionally charged for murder, adding that his docket would however be sent to the Attorney General’s Department for advice whiles investigations are underway to ascertain the cause of the incident.
In what the teachers termed solidarity and mourning period, they have for the past one week indefinitely boycott and suspended teaching activities in the district to press home their demand for justice. They said the death of their colleague after other several attacks on teachers in the district clearly shows that the safety of teachers in the district cannot be guaranteed and until the authorities in the district have put necessary structures in place to guarantee their safety they will not returned to class to teach.
At a press conference in Ada, the teachers further called for an immediate end to attacks on teachers in the area adding that if the situation was not addressed, it would affect education in the area.
The teachers clad in black and red attire embarked on a peaceful march through certain parts of the area and ended it at the forecourt of the deceased’s school where the Greater Accra GNAT Secretary, Gifty Apambil addressed the media.
According to her, teachers within the district had decided to stay out of their classrooms for a week to mourn their departed colleague.
Ms. Apambil said attacks on teachers in the area and other parts of the country were becoming too much and called for a stop to it.
She noted that she and the other members had no intention of abandoning their jobs and their pupils saying their action was to help stop the attacks.
She pointed out that the death of Rebecca Wollor had caused fear among teachers in the area.
“Recently a teacher was attacked in his classroom by certain persons. We moved in and settled the case on November 14, 2012. It therefore came as a huge surprise to us when we heard about Rebecca’s death, a day after we had settled the case.”
According to her, the group felt Pediator was not telling the police the truth when he claimed he had intended to shoot at a bird and not their colleague.
“We were told of how he arrived at the uncompleted building and subsequently shot her in the head killing her instantly. We believe he is hiding something from the police and must be made to tell the whole world why he killed Rebecca that Thursday morning. The confidence of teachers in the area can only be restored if the killer is brought to book,” she added.
But for more than a week now, school children in the district have also been victims of the strike action wondering when the teachers will be back at school to teach them especially those in the final year. A visit to the district after the unfortunate incident revealed how these poor school children are either seen loitering in their various schools or in the town.
Parents in the district have also condemned the attack and have asked the police to handle the case with all the urgency it deserves. They have also pleaded with the teachers to reconsider their decision and go back to the class to teach.
Chiefs, opinion leaders and all religious bodies in the district have all condemned the attack and have also asked the police to speed up with investigations to help ascertain the truth and cause of the incident.
Meanwhile teachers in the district together with some family members from Liberia have marked the one week memorial service for the deceased at their Accra residence last Thursday 22nd November a week after Rebecca met her untimely tragic death.
Brother of the deceased who was in Ghana for the one week event said he was so impressed with the support, concern, love and seriousness attached to the case by the teachers, Government and the Ghana Education service. He disclosed that the body of Wollor will be taken to Liberia for burial after the police have completed with their preliminary investigations.
Rebecca Wollor, 35, a Liberian national, and the mason, Ebenezer Pediator, 40, were said to be neighbours and residents of Otrokpe, an Ada Foah suburb.
The body of the deceased has since been deposited at the police hospital at Accra.

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