Regional News of Thursday, 20 September 2012
Source: Daily Graphic
There was excitement at the Weija Cluster of Schools Tuesday when two Metro Mass Transit (MMT) buses arrived to convey the school children to their respective communities in fulfillment of the pledge the government made last weekend.
Schoolchildren at Weija Presbyterian Primary and Junior High, Weija Methodist Basic School, HIPS Charity School, Weija Municipal Assembly JHS and St Joseph the Worker Primary could not hide their joy as they danced before entering their buses for home.
The buses are expected to pick the schoolchildren every day at Old Barrier Junction, SCC Junction and Ayibge Town and convey them to and back from school daily.
In addition, an information van is currently going round informing parents to instruct their children to pick the buses at the scheduled junctions.
The Daily Graphic, in its Friday, September 14, 2012 edition, carried a report of how 275 pupils from the Weija Cluster of Schools had dropped out of school as a result of the absence of a footbridge over the Weija Lake to give them access to school.
In addition, 1,200 pupils who live at Ayigbe Town, SCC, Old Barrier, Bortianor and Broadcasting, all communities on one side of the Weija Dam, put their lives in danger by scaling the walls of the dam daily to get to school.
The buses were led to the schools by the Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Dzifa Attivor. She was accompanied by the Ga South Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Jerry Akwei Thompson, the NDC parliamentary aspirant of the yet-to-be-created constituency, Gbawe-Weija, Ms Obuobia Darko-Opoku, and officials from MMT.
The move is a temporary measure Put in place by the government to address the situation where schoolchildren from six to 12 years scale the Weija Dam bridge to get access to their respective schools.
As a permanent solution to address the problem, a 45-metre pedestrian (foot) steel bridge over the Weija tributary would be constructed.
This is under the Ga South Municipal Assembly Local Government Capacity Support Project Urban Development Grant 2012 Work Plan.
Work on the environmentally friendly steel bridge, which is expected to help the schoolchildren move to and from their respective schools, safely would commence before the end of the year.
A class six pupil from HIPS Charity School, Bright Asante Addei, who could not contain his excitement, told the Daily Graphic that with the buses now available, he and his two siblings would never scale over the Weija bridge to school again.
He recalled the days when he and his two siblings had to wake up every morning and climb over the fenced Weija gate to their school.
Addressing the elated schoolchildren at Weija Presbyterian School, Ms Dzifa advised them to regularly join the buses at the aforementioned junctions at early hours in order not to miss them.
“You must not be seen again climbing over the Weija Dam bridge to come to school or scaling the fence to go home after school hours. You must always wake up very early in the morning and board the bus,” the deputy minister said.
Just to erase doubts that a six-year-old pupil could climb over the Weija bridge, Ms Dzifa asked Praise Seppah, a pupil whose picture appeared on the front page of the Daily Graphic scaling the fence gate whether she received any assistance from older people, Seppah replied in the negative, adding, “I always try to use my left leg to cling to the fence gate and climb over”.
To confirm the picture seen on the front page of the Daily Graphic on Friday, Seppah said she was never assisted by anybody.
Ms Dzifa, therefore, called on the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to beef up security at the bridge to permanently stop pupils and residents who lived on the other side of Weija Lake from scaling the bridge.
Mr Thompson observed that the Weija Dam bridge was a complete security zone and so it was imperative for it to be kept under strict surveillance.