All the nine pupils of Lwanga R/C JHS in the Saboba District of the Northern region who died after drowning in the Mabor River are not candidates for the 2021 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), police have confirmed.
The police say all the 31 pupils who were sent to the farm were Form 1 and Form 2 pupils, so none of them would have written this year’s BECE, which is scheduled to begin Monday, November 15.
The headteacher of the aforementioned school reportedly took the 31 pupils of the school to his farm to harvest rice on Friday, November 12
After the day’s activity around 3:00 pm, he asked the school children to go home while he went to greet the chief in the area, according to the police.
The children used three canoes and were racing on the river.
The first canoe crossed successfully but while the other two were racing on the river, the canoe at the back hit the one in front, forcing it to capsize.
All nine occupants of the canoe drowned.
Speaking further on the incident on 3FM’s Sunrise hosted by Alfred Ocansey on Monday, the Saboba District Police Commander, DSP Shine Zoiku, explained that “they were Form 1 and Form 2 pupils, so they were not BECE candidates as it is being reported”.
“They are not writing the BECE. They went to the farm of the headmaster. They are all males, aged between 16 and 22, and all of them are males.”
DSP Zoiku said, “all the survivors were also male and the school authorities said they were not aware of this decision”.
Asked whether such a practice was common in the area, the Police Commander said “I have never heard or seen pupils sent to the head teacher’s farm. This is my first time”.
Meanwhile, the Headteacher, Jashain Emmanuel, is set for court on Monday.
The 43-year-old was arrested after he turned himself into the police.