Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum
Minority members on Parliament’s Education Committee are demanding that the Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, be summoned to answer for the lives of nine children who drowned on their way home from school at Faana-Bortianor in the Greater Accra Region.
According to them, Dr Adutwum is to be held accountable for failing to make special provision for schools in island communities to avert the occurrences of such tragedies.
Ranking Member on the Education Committee, Dr Clement Apaak, vowed to ensure that the minister is hauled to Parliament to answer questions.
“The Parliamentary Sub-committee on Education, of which I am a member, and in leadership, must be up and doing, and I would clearly bring this to the awareness of the rest, my colleagues in leadership. We should be summoning the minister to respond and answer to some of these issues directly to the committee.”
On Wednesday, May 10, a disaster struck when a boat carrying 12 school children capsized, drowning 9 and leaving three survivors at Faanaa-Bortianor.
A similar tragedy occurred at Kajaji in the Sene East District, where 8 children who had closed school also drowned.
The Education Ministry admitted to lapses in educational planning and the lack of schools in such island communities and promised to resolve the situation.
“I felt terrible, especially when children are going to school. If they were doing any other thing, it will still hurt you, but when they are trying to have a better future for themselves and they are going to school when this happens, it hurts us. And it’s something that we all have to learn from.
“We’re also going to have a meeting with district directors in areas like that to begin to look at what our short-term, long-term strategies are so that children don’t get into harm’s way doing the right thing that we expect them to do; that is to go to school,” Dr Adutwum said in an interview.
However, months after this assurance, not much has been done to prevent such incidents.
It is on the back of this that Dr Apaak wants the Education Minister and the government held accountable for the tragic incident.
He, therefore, suggested that the cap on GetFund must be removed to “provide the needed funding for us [the nation] to build educational infrastructure in communities that deserve schools for the children to be able to attend, including these island communities.”
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