The Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch) has strongly criticized the Ghana Education Service (GES) for its role in the drowning of nine children in the Weija-Gbawe municipality in Accra.
The tragedy occurred on May 10, 2023 when the boat the children were traveling in capsized, resulting in the loss of eight lives. The ninth body was found on May 11th after a search.
In a statement released on Thursday May 11, 2023, Eduwatch said that the GES could have taken steps to prevent the incident if it had acted on the recommendations it had made earlier this year.
The think tank had urged the GES to provide life jackets to students who must cross rivers to get to school.
Eduwatch said, “Today’s devastating news about the painful death of nine (9) children who drowned under similar circumstances is very unfortunate and completely avoidable if the GES acted responsibly on our recommendations. It is unacceptable that within a space of four (4) months in only two (2) districts, 17 poor children have lost their lives in their quest to claim their right to basic education.”
Africa Education Watch further called on the GES, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to take immediate steps towards providing life jackets for pupils and teachers in island communities, liaise with local authorities to strengthen health and safety compliance, and construct schools in such communities. It also emphasized the need for parliamentary oversight on the matter.
The drowning incident in Faana is not the first of its kind in Ghana. A similar incident occurred in Atigagorrne/Wayokope on January 25, where eight pupils drowned.
Full statement below
Story by: Kelly Adjetey Boye | univers.ug.edu.gh