Two teacher unions have advocated the immediate closure of schools in Bawku in the Upper East region over safety concerns rising from renewed conflicts in the area
According to the Conference of Heads of Basic Schools (CHOBS) and the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) the tense atmosphere in the town was not conducive for academic work.
The CHOBS which made the initial call, in a letter addressed to the Municipal Director of Education of the Ghana Education Service (GES), said teachers were unable to commute to classrooms due to the ban on tricycles in the area.
“Following the insecurity and the subsequent ban of “yellow yellow” in the municipality, we wish to appeal to you to close down basic schools in the municipality pending the improvement of the security situation.
“The lives of our teachers and pupils cannot be guaranteed at this time. We appeal to both factions to put the guns down for peace to prevail for the sake of our future leaders,” said the letter signed by CHOBS chairman, AbugriBusia.
The Municipal Secretary for GNAT in the Bawku Municipality and its environs, Gordon Abuga, also backed calls by teachers in Bawku in an interview with TV3 on Thursday.
“We think that the only way we can help ourselves is to ask for a closure of the schools because we are unable to assure our security,” he said in solidarity with the teachers.
About nine persons have reportedly been killed while a transformer belonging to NEDCo, a power provider, had been destroyed in renewed clashes which took place on Sunday and Monday.
Teaching and learning in Bawku Municipality has been adversely affected as students have deserted the classrooms while some teachers have reportedly fled for their lives.
The ban on tricycles was imposed by the Regional Security Council on Monday as a measure to quell their use by unscrupulous persons who were fueling the conflict in the area.
A statement issued by the Council said personnel of the Ghana Police Service Ghana Immigration Service and the Ghana Armed Forces could use their official motorcycles between 6am and 6pm.
Security presence has been intensified in the town to quell the conflict.
Meanwhile, Some concerned citizens of the Kugaug Traditional Area in the Region say the ban on the yellow yellow” popularly known as MahamaCamboo” was not in the interest of the people.
In a statement signed by secretary to the group, Mr. MumuniFuseiniAzonko they said the tricycle was source of income to the youth of the area and it is also a means of transportation to many workers and school children
He is therefore calling on REGSEC to rescind their decision, promising that they were “willing and ready to work with state institutions to bring back peace in the area.”