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11.05.2005 General News

250 Toddlers Go On Demo

By Chronicle

... in protest against 'rotten' school building

May 11, 2005 (Chronicle) -- Drama unfolded at Amafie, a village near Sefwi Wiawso in the Sefwi Wiawso district of the Western Region last Thursday, when about 250 toddlers attending the local kindergarten school reportedly went on a demonstration to protest against the dilapidated nature of their classrooms. The demonstration, which shocked the local inhabitants to the bone, saw the toddlers, aged between three and four years, packing their tables and chairs from the dilapidated classrooms and dumping them at the palace of their local chief, who was said to have travelled outside the country at that time.

Information picked up by The Chronicle from a reliable source at Sefwi Wiawso said the toddlers took the shocking decision after they had intercepted information that one of their colleagues from the nearby Ntretrese village had collapsed and was rushed to the Komfo Anokye Hospital in Kumasi, in the Ashanti Region, when a mud building serving as a classroom collapsed on him during a rainstorm.

The source further told The Chronicle that on the day in question, the toddlers saw that the cloud had gathered and fearing that the fate that befell their colleague was in sight, quickly picked up their tables and chairs and went straight to the palace where they dumped them.

The decision taken by the toddlers, which has become a topical issue in the district, is said to have shocked the local people because neither their teachers nor parents had incited them to use such means to lodge their protest against the dilapidated nature of their school building. They apparently wanted to tell the chief that their lives were at stake.

To make matters worse, the toddlers are said to have refused to use the old school building, insisting that a new one be put up for them.

The Chronicle was further told that when the chief of the village, Nana Kwao Ampem Wereko II returned from his trip abroad three days later, he quickly organized a temporary place for the toddlers, pending the construction of a new kindergarten building for them.

When the District Chief Executive for Sefwi Wiawso, Mr. Kofi Ahenkorah, was contacted, he denied knowledge about the said demonstration.

“I am not aware,” he said.

He however said the people of Amafie had put in request for the assembly to renovate two out of the six old classroom blocks for them to use as a day care center.

He said the structure being used currently as a day care center had been abandoned after the assembly had constructed six new classrooms for the primary school at Amafie.

Ahenkorah said though the community wanted them to renovate the old school block, it would have been better if they had put up a new two-lassroom block for them to use as the day care center.

According to him, he had already sent his technical men to the village to study the situation and make the necessary recommendations.

He however insisted that construction of a new block for the children was the better option since renovating the old abandoned block would cost them a lot of money.

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