BOLTECH closed down after students’ violent protest

All students in the Bolgatanga Technical Institute (BOLTECH), have been asked to vacate the school premises after they staged a violent demonstration against authorities of the school, accusing some teachers of being strict on them in the ongoing Coalition of Technical and Vocational Education Training (CTVET) examinations.

Four students, comprising two candidates and two form two students were arrested on Monday by a team from the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) for allegedly abetting and indulging in exams related malpractices when they for the Mathematics paper on Monday.

Also, two teachers, including the Head of Department for Electricals and a national service person were invited by the BNI to assist with investigations on their alleged role in the examinations malpractices.

The disgruntled students, who got furious by the arrest of their colleagues, mobilised in the early hours of Tuesday, attacked teachers and vandalised property of the school.

“Five cars, several motorcycles belonging to teachers in this school have been destroyed,” the Principal of the School, Yorose Zachary, said in an interview with newsmen at the premises of the school in Bolgatanga.

He added that, police who were called to disperse the roaring students and restore calm were not spared, as they (policemen) were pelted with stones.

According to him, but for the timely intervention of the police, the impasse would have escalated, and they rioters were likely to set facilities of the school on fire.

The principal, moreover, described the protests that erupted in the school as unfortunate and “very disturbing”, saying the rules of the CTVET exams were very clear, but students chose to cut corners by cheating in exams hall.

He explained that “The NIB received intelligence that some candidates were engaging in cheating in the exams hall, and when they arrived at the school, they caught some year two students with a mobile phone. When they were interrogated, they said their seniors (CTVET candidates) asked them to monitor certain websites, and write down the answers of the questions on a paper so they would come out for them.”

The Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, accompanied by the Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) DrSayibuGariba, stormed the school to engage students and authorities on the cause of the clashes.

Upon consultation with the principal and other key staff members of the school, Mr Yakubu ordered that the school be closed down temporarily until further notice.

He advised the students against such anti-progressive practice which could mar their future, and blamed the violent demonstration on criminals who wanted to hold the school to ransom.

“I understand that what is happening here is exactly what is happening in the Bawku Technical Institute in Bawku, so I know it is a coordinated plan.

“So we have conferred and decided that we are going to close the school, and you just have to pack and leave,” he said, while ordering them to vacate the campus in two hours.

Mr Yakubu indicated the final year students could commit from their homes to the school to write their exams any day they had a paper, and reminded them they would account for the damage caused.

FROM FRANCIS DABRE DABANG, BOLGATANGA

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