The Ghana Education Service (GES) has directed the immediate shut down of all public schools in the Chereponi District of the Northern region.
The decision follows renewed violent clashes among the Konkombas and the Chokosis over a two-acre land.
Reports are that the Konkomba attackers have allegedly burnt down 10 Chokosi villages – Naaduuni, Achima, Tiakasu, Kunkpende, Naaburubu, Kunajiiku, Rabaŋani, Sedorti, Tojinga and Nandiri.
In retaliation, the Chokosi youths have also burnt down five villages – Nachem, Tambungu, Nangbangu and Namor,
The violence and reprisals have gone on for close to a week and have led to the death of some four persons.
Deputy Education Minister, Yaw Adutwum told Joy News’ Komla Adom in an interview that the GES can no longer guarantee the safety of the students, prompting the need to close down the schools.
Mud houses were torched during the clashes
He said the Chereponi Senior High School and all basic, primary and Junior High Schools (JHS) managed by the GES in the district have been ordered to shut down indefinitely.
“The disturbances are unfortunate. At the Ministry of Education, it is always safety first and if the children are not safe they cannot learn. We do not want to put children in harm’s way and as a result, the Ghana Education Service has directed that the schools remain closed until there is peace in Chereponi.
“And when there is peace schools will open and they will go back and continue their educational activities, Dr Adutwum added.
In all, about five schools have been affected by the shutdown.
The decision was arrived at following an emergency meeting with District Security Council, Interior Ministry Northern Regional Minister and all security agencies in the district after a tour of the area following the clashes.
Some residents are fleeing to Togo
The Deputy Minister said until security agencies assure of the students’ complete safety while in school, the schools will not be reopened.
Any instructional hours lost due to the clashes will be adequately made up for, Dr Adutwum said.
Meanwhile, a 4 pm to 7 am curfew is underway in the district.
Reports suggest that residents are fleeing to neighbouring Togo due to fears of being attacked.
Joy News Correspondent Martina Bugri who was part of the media team that joined the Regional Minister on a tour, reported that the extent of damage caused by the clash is “heartbreaking.”
The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) in the district says some 5000 people have been displaced as a result of the violence.
Public Relations Officer, George Ayisi said the displaced residents are being catered for at shelters and will be helped to rebuild their homes after the conflict.