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General News of Sunday, 7 August 2016

Source: 3news.com

Teachers abandon classroom for fear of their lives

The teachers say they cannot continue risking their lives in this small dilapidated canoe

Teachers at the Akilika M/A Basic School in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality of the Western Region have abandoned their classrooms for the past month for fear of their lives.

Akilika is a vibrant farming community located on the banks of River Bonsa, and according to the teachers, they cannot continue to risk their lives by perilously crossing the river daily in a small-dilapidated canoe to teach the 283 pupils of the school.

For 15 minutes each day, the teachers put their lives in danger to cross the river in a dilapidated canoe, which takes four persons at a time. Throughout the journey, they are required to scoop water out of the canoe to avoid being drowned.

The school authorities say the canoe that was serving the area has since October 2015 broken down after a tree fell on it. They say efforts to get a replacement from the municipal assembly through the Ghana Education Service have not been positive.

The teachers say they have had enough of the daily risky experience, hence resolved to stay in their homes until something is done about the situation. Consequently, the pupils are enjoying what could be described as indefinite holiday until the teachers, numbering seven, report to school to resume their academic duties.

With a population of about 2000, Akilika was adjudged the best cocoa producing community in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality by COCOBOD in 2015, but the community lacks basic social amenities like electricity, potable water and health centre among others.

Head teacher of the school, Richard Yaw Beyuo, who has been teaching in the school for 10 years, told Connect FM that the teachers on daily basis risk their lives just to journey to school to teach. He has thus pleaded with authorities to construct a bridge on the river so the teachers could resume as the pupils are now losing out.

He also wants the school to be provided with teachers’ quarters in the community Although the National Disaster Management Organisation and the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal Assembly promised to construct a bridge on the river when four people lost their lives in a canoe on the river four years ago, nothing has since been done.

The Chief of Akilika, Godson Sadekla said that the education of the children in the community has become a worry them, especially so because they will at the end write the same examination with other pupils in the whole country.

Meanwhile, the public relations officer of the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal Assembly, Barbie Baffoe Nunoo, has told Connect FM that they are in the process of building a new canoe for the community. He assured the people in the community that it would be ready by next week.