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General News of Monday, 28 November 2016

Source: GHOne TV

Children of Agorde swim across two rivers to get to school

Children in Agorde put their uniforms and books in basins as they swim their way through two rivers play videoChildren in Agorde put their uniforms and books in basins as they swim their way through two rivers

Eighteen year old Mawuenya Kpodo has a dream of joining Ghana’s military in the future and that dream starts in Agorde.

Kpodo and his siblings, like many other children in the town, have to swim their way through two rivers in a quest to gain access to education at Tsavanya, the nearest community with classroom facilities.

They put their uniforms and books in basins they hold carefully as they swim across the river.
Speaking to GHOne News, Kpodo said although it is more dangerous especially during rainy seasons; they have no choice but to bravely navigate the waters to school.

Under the circumstances, those that are lucky enough to meet a canoe provided by the district assembly some years ago, cross the river using the canoe.

The canoe is sometimes taken away by some fisher folks in the town, forcing children that cannot swim to use another deadly means of getting to the other side of the river.

They hop and walk on the logs and big branches of trees along the banks to cross to the other side and this requires a lot of experience.

That however is one hurdle.

Another barrier is walking for more than seven kilometers to get to their school.

The other nearest town to Agorde is Torve, where some other pupils also attend school.

The situation does not get any better for those who attend the Torve Basic School.

They have to walk for about one hour thirty minutes as well as cross two different rivers before getting to school.

The time these pupils have to spend each morning travelling to school, consumes much of the time they need to be in the classroom.

They therefore end up studying for just a few hours.

The pupils we met on our way narrated their ordeals to the news team, saying that they get stressed out before getting to school and that negatively impacts their academic performance.

Some of the pupils find it difficult to express themselves in English.

A child in Agorde needs to be ten years or more before starting school in the closest communities.

This report by GHOne News’ Alice Aryeetey examines the state of education in these parts and what authorities are doing about it.

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