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Upper East Regional Peace Council worried about frequent SH/TSs riots

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The Upper East Regional Peace Council has expressed grave concern about the increasing cases of riots among second cycle institutions in the Upper East Region. The violent incidents, according to the Peace Council, do not bode well for education in the region. 

A recent desktop study conducted by the Upper East Regional Peace Council since 2014 has revealed that almost every public second cycle school in the region has reported at least one riot.

Between 2020 and 2023, riots were reported in Sandema Senior High School (SANSEC), St Bernadette Technical Institute in Navrongo, Fumbisi Agricultural SHS, Kongo Senior High School in the Nabdam District, Bawku Technical Institute, Bolgatanga Technical Institute, and Zebilla Senior High Technical. During this period, some of these schools have reported more than two riots.

These riots have resulted in the destruction of school and personal property, the loss of study time, and negative publicity for the schools involved and the region as a whole.

In 2019, following the closure of three Senior High Schools as a result of student riots and clashes, the then regional minister, Madam Tangoba Abayage, called for a crisis meeting with heads of schools to deliberate on measures to curb the phenomenon. Her successor, Stephen Yakubu, inherited the problem and expressed concern about the negative image that such riots were giving to the region.

Recently, students of Our Lady of Lourdes Girls’ Senior High School in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality of the Upper East Region protested on Monday, May 22, 2023, over what they described as “poor and tasteless” food prepared for them over the past weeks. 

According to them, the school has been preparing rice-related meals with few ingredients for their consumption for the past week without changing varieties. The situation, they say, has caused some of their colleagues to begin having some serious health complications, thereby calling for a change in food preparation.

A video that went viral on social media showed the students chanting that they would not eat rice again. “We need change,” they screamed.  One of the distinct voices in the video could be heard saying, “We will not eat this tasteless food again; we want change. We want change.” 

It would also be recalled that 22 second-year students and five third-year students from Saint Bernadette’s Technical Institute in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality of the Upper East Region were suspended indefinitely by the school’s principal, Miss Memuna Fuseini. 

In a letter that was signed by the principal, it was claimed that on December 4, 2022, the students engaged in a riot that resulted in the destruction of school property and put the lives of the school’s staff at risk.

Their school was thus indefinitely shut down. 

Additionally, Zamse Senior High School students engaged in a violent altercation amongst themselves.

When the Regional Executive Secretary of the Peace Council, Ali Anankpieng, spoke to Mark Smith on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show, he explained that stakeholders need to do more to help the situation. 

“You will see that the issues are increasing. What we need to be doing is serious engagements at the stakeholder level. REGSEC should take some interest in it. The parent should take some interest in it. The GES should take some interest. There is a need for serious engagement. For us, we would be engaging at the student level and the school management level. As we have said, if we can create a platform for the two to engage, I think we should be reaching some understanding on how to address some of these concerns,” he said. 

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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