8 Drowned Pupils To Be Immortalised With New School At Atikagome
The Minister for Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum has revealed government’s readiness to erect a new school block in the community of the eight pupils who drowned on their way to school. According to the minister, the move is part of efforts to address the calamity which befell the indigenes of Atikagome about a week ago.
Speaking on Accra-based GTV, he stressed the need for the safety of children to be treated with utmost priority. He said government is committed to that cause, hence the plans to put up a befitting school edifice for the young pupils within the community, which will also serve as memorial for their departed colleagues.
“I’ve directed that I’ll respond to the promise by the regional minister to build a school in that community where the children were traveling from so that they don’t have to travel from that community.“It’s something that’s on our emergency procurement system. We want to get PPA approval within a very short period of time and put up that building there to be in memory of those children we lost”, Dr Adutwum said.
It will be reaclled that about a week ago, eight school children drowned in the Volta Lake following the capsizing of a boat on which they were travelling. According to the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), the deceased were among 20 pupils who were in the boat travelling from Atikagome to Wayokope, where their school is located. Twelve pupils however, managed to swim to safety.
The eight deceased, NADMO said, comprised five boys and three girls between the ages of five and twelve. The Sene East District Director of NADMO, Ibrahim Wudonyim, revealed that before they got to the accident scene, some community members and Marine Police had managed to retrieve all eight bodies from the Lake. He explained that the incident happened around 7:00am on Tuesday, January 24 and that the boat capsized midway.
The bodies of the deceased were subsequently sent to Atikagome, a fishing community. The community was also thrown into mourning, shock and fear as a result of the incident. Following this development, an education advocacy group called on government to provide life jackets to pupils and staff in island communities who commute by water.
In a statement commiserating with families of the deceased pupils, Eduwatch Africa said it was saddened by the deaths. The group therefore called on the Ghana Education Service and other relevant stakeholders to roll out measures to avert such disasters in the future.