[ 2012-09-16 ]
Hard Road To School - As Pupils Scale Walls, Squeeze Through Wire Fence
One thousand and two hundred pupils who live at
Ayigbe Town, SCC, Old Barrier, Bortianor and
Broadcasting, all communities on one side of the
Weija Dam, near Accra, put their lives in danger
by scaling the walls of the dam daily to get to
Others who cannot climb the walls of the dam go
through the wire fence gate to cross over the
bridge to their respective schools.
Meanwhile, 275 from the Weija Cluster of Schools
have dropped out as a result of the absence of a
footbridge over the Weija Lake to enable them
cross over to school.
The only existing footbridge which passes through
the Weija Water Treatment Plant is not accessible
to the schoolchildren as a result of a directive
from the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and
Housing to close the gate leading to the dam.
Since the directive was issued last year, the
Weija Methodist Basic School has recorded the
highest dropout with a total number of 120 pupils.
The rest are Weija Presbyterian Primary and Junior
High School, 90 pupils; Weija Municipal Assembly
JHS, 35; the St Joseph the Worker Primary, 15,
with St Jude recording 15.
In addition, the schools are affected by
persistent absenteeism and truancy because the
pupils cannot afford the transportation fare to
and from school.
This information was disclosed to graphic.com.gh
by the various heads of the schools.
They are, therefore, calling on the government to
build two bridges across the Densu outlet to help
alleviate the plight of the children.
They also pleaded that as a short-term measure,
the gate of the Weija Dam should be opened for
only the schoolchildren guarded by security
personnel to ensure their safety during school
The Headmistress of Weija Methodist Basic School,
Madam Faustina Forson, said since the closure of
the Weija bridge, activities of the school had
greatly been affected, with the major challenge
being the rising rate of dropouts.
‘’The only source of passage for the
schoolchildren was the Weija bridge but the Deputy
Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Ms
Hanna Bissiw, gave instruction for its closure.
Since then the children had resorted to using
various means to come to school because their
parents cannot afford three transportation fares,”
The Headmaster of Weija Presby JHS, Mr Bob Djah,
said the students had adopted various ways to
cross the lake to go to and from school at their
He said while many of them prefered to dangerously
climb the walls of the Weija Dam, others paid
GH¢1.00 to board a canoe to ferry them across the
lake, another dangerous move.
The Headmaster of Weija Municipal Assembly JHS, Mr
Shraw Takyi Kodam, recalled that after the Weija
dam footbridge was closed by the authorities, the
assembly member for Weija came with a proposed
sketch footbridge but its construction had not
He said although the municipal assembly did
promise to get a bus to convey the pupils to
school daily, the promise was yet to fulfilled.
Mr Kodam said over 80 percent of school pupils
from the Weija cluster of schools lived at Ayigbe
Town, SCC, Old Barrier, Bortianor and the
Reacting to the situation, the Managing Director
of GWCL, Mr Kweku Botwe, said the closure of the
Weija bridge was to protect the dam.
He explained that the bridge was constructed for
the workers of the Weija Treatment Plant to use
during the spillage and other activities of the
‘’The bridge was not meant for the schoolchildren
or residents living on the other side of the
dam,’’ he stressed.
Mr Botwe noted that one major problem GWCL faced
was that most of the residents who used the bridge
dumped waste substances into the dam, which made
it difficult for the dam to follow its natural
Others, he said, used the bridge to construct
pipes to discharge their sewage into the dam.
The Ga South Municipal Director of Education, Mrs
Florence Addo, said her outfit had not received
any petition from the various heads of Weija
cluster of schools concerning the dropout rate
that has arisen because of the closure of the
An earlier report was carried on June 21, 2012,
about how 400 pupils crossed the Weija Dam in
canoes or change vehicles three times before
getting to school.
Source - Daily Graphic
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