E/R: Six schools close down over threats of attack by herdsmen

Teachers and pupils of six basic schools within the Kwaku East municipality of the Eastern Region have abandoned their classrooms for the past one month for fear of being attacked by some nomadic herdsmen. The herdsmen who have been grazing their cows on the premises of the schools during school hours, are said to have consistently threatened pupils and school authorities whenever they complain of the nuisance created by the animals. Unable to cope with the activities of the herdsmen coupled with the threats, both teachers and the pupils of the six schools, Oboyan basic school, Atta-Ne-Atta D/A Primary, Adumasa Presby Primary, Abotriansa D/A Primary, Dwerebease Presby Primary, Dwerebease D/A JHS and Onyemso D/A Primary and JHS, have abandoned their schools for fear of their lives. [caption id="attachment_45972" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] pupils are now staying at home during school hours[/caption] Hundreds of pupils who are due to write their Basic Education Certificate Examination about two months fear failing the exam as they have lost one month of school hours. “Anytime we go to school to study, they [herdsmen] come around with their cows to feed on the grass, making unnecessary noise. If we protest they threaten us,” one student who gave his name as Eric told TV3. Another student, Felicia Amoah, who moved from her village which the herdsmen destroyed, said she is now dreading the BECE examination which she said she might fail. “I used to stay with my family in a small village known as Aseseaso, the herdsmen destroyed our community [and] for fear of my life, I came to Oboyan so I could continue schooling but unfortunately we have to stay home. I fear I may fail the BECE, our preparation is not much,” she said. Pupils and teachers of the Oboyan basic school have since February 18, not been to the school. The classrooms have now become the abode of stray goats and other animals. Parents are extremely worried, and believe the security agencies have not handled the situation well. “The security guys have been here. We told them there is uneasy tension in the community. It is sad our children cannot go to school…We feel their education hangs in the balance. They will be writing examination, I am wondering how they will perform,” one parent who spoke on condition of anonymity told TV3

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Eastern Regional Minister, Eric Kwakye Daffour, told TV3 the regional Security Council was aware of the situation, and that the coordinating council shares in the plight of the pupils and their parents. He said together with the security agencies and other stakeholders, the situation was being monitored to ensure normalcy before pupils return to their schools. He was hopeful the pupils may return to school this week. By Yvonne Neequaye|TV3|3news.com|Ghana]]>