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10.06.2004 Tabloid News

Girl 17, Commits Suicide Over Exam Fees

By Graphic
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A 17-year-old final year catering student last week hanged herself in a kiosk at Agbogblosie, a suburb of Accra. The deceased, Helena Quanor,a student of the Presbyterian Vocational Institute at Latebiokoshie is believed to have taken her life because she could not get money to pay for her final year practical examination.

Narrating the facts of the case to the Junior Graphic, the District Commander in charge of James Town Police Station, Deputy Superintendent Kwabena Antwi-Boasiako, said Helena, who lived with her mother, Grace Yarboi, at Agbogbloshie, returned from school last Friday to demand ¢100,000 to enable her undertake her external practical examination.

D/Supt Antwi-Boasiako said Helena's mother was able to provide her with only ¢50,000 and asked her to go to her father's residence at North Kaneshie for the remaining ¢50,000.He said Helena's father could also not provide her with the remaining amount.

The Police said upon her return, her mother promised to find the rest of the money to enable her perform the practicals. Helena agreed and together with the mother, retired to bed at about 10:00 p.m., giving the warning that if she did not get the money in full she would not be pleased.

D/Supt Antwi-Boasiako said unknown to the mother, Helena who was not satisfied with her mother's assurance, sneaked out while her mother was asleep and ended it all by hanging herself with her mother's cloth in a nearby kiosk.

The Commander said the next day, Madam Grace could not find her daughter so she started searching for her . Later, she heard that someone had hanged herself in a nearby kiosk and when she went to the scene she found, to her surprise, that the body was that of her daughter.

He said a post-mortem examination carried out showed that there was no foul play.When the Junior Graphic called at her school on Monday, her colleagues were seen undertaking the practicals that had sent Helena to her grave prematurely.

In an interview with one of her catering tutors, Mrs Joyce Akume, she said the whole incident came as a shock to the entire school.She expressed regret that Helena's parents inability to fund her practicals examination had forced her to commit suicide and therefore advised parents not to select for their children courses like catering, which is financially demanding to pursue, if they are not financially sound.

She stressed that children were capable of doing anything drastic when their demands were not met and therefore urged parents to try their best to protect their marriages and support their children both financially and emotionally.

Some of her friends, who have still not overcome the shock from their friend's death, said Helena was so calm and gentle that they least suspected she could take her own life with just some few months to complete her course.

The deceased's maternal family elder, who pleaded anonymity confirmed the story but said the entire family would meet Helena's father and find out what really transpired between him and the daughter that embittered her to the extent of taking her life.

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