Bolgatanga Technical Institute (BOTECH) in the Upper East Region has been temporarily closed down following students’ disturbances on campus.
A1 NEWS has gathered that the violence erupted on Monday February 15, 2021 after a heated argument between two final year students, which resulted in throwing of stones and destruction to school property. It continued throughout until Tuesday dawn amidst firing of gunshots by the students until the police and the military were called in to control the situation.
When A1 News visited the school on Monday, some students were seen parking out of the campus while others were seen in groups.
Narrating to A1 Radio a student said, “On Monday afternoon that the incident happened. The fight was just about two students claiming they were having personal issues and wanted to iron them alone. After a short while, I saw one student with his camp (colleagues) going closer to another. And then, they started throwing stones at each other. So, there were noises all over, and then, the school authorities came and intervened. But immediately they left, getting to the evening time after ‘prep’, the students started again; beating each other, some were holding knives and cutlasses chasing each other. They even wounded two students. Now, I do not know their whereabouts.”
Another student also said that as of Tuesday 16 February, there was some security personnel in the school to provide security but they later left the premises of the school in the evening.
He said, “After the security personnel left the school at around 4: 30 am, the students started again. At that time there was no security personnel except the watchman. So, as you can see, the majority of us are going home. We will not wait to hear from school authorities before we can go home. It is not safe here.
Meanwhile, A1 News has learned the violence is as a result of a long-standing feud between two ethnic groups (names withheld) on campus. Students of the two ethnic groups on campus clashed last year and it is believed the remote cause of the latest disturbances is based on the long-standing feud between the two groups.
A1 News has also gathered that during firing of gunshots by the students, some students sustained injuries and others, mainly female students, collapsed and were rushed to the hospital.
Though at the time A1 News visited the school Wednesday morning at about 6:30, there was no school authority to speak to, we later learned the acting Regional Minister, Tangoba Abayage and key stakeholders in education in the municipality went to the school and announced its indefinite closure.
Currently, state security has taken over the school to ensure all the students leave campus in order that there would be no escalation of the violence and destruction to school property.
Meanwhile, the Bolgatanga Municipal Security Council is currently holding a meeting with the management of school to try and resolve the matter.