Four students, a teacher and a National Service Person of the Bolgatanga Technical Institute were on August 1, 2022, picked up by the National Investigation Bureau (NIB) for interrogation over alleged examination malpractice when the students were writing their Mathematics papers.
This, coupled with alleged strict invigilation did not go down well with some students and they resorted to rioting to express their displeasure.
The final year students are expected to commute from their various homes to the schools to write the ongoing Certificate II Core and Elective Subjects Examination on every examination day.
About five vehicles, a number of motorbikes belonging to teachers of the Bolgatanga Technical Institute and some school properties have been vandalised by the irate students.
Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister and Chairman of REGSEC, who made the announcement in Bolgatanga, noted that the decision was to maintain peace and security in schools and the region at large.
“My understanding is that what is happening here is exactly what is happening in Bawku Technical Institute and that tells me that it is a coordinated plan.
“So, we have conferred and decided that we are going to close the schools, all of you are to leave campus by 1600 hours and we will allow the final year students only to come to school when they have a paper to write,” he said.
He said there would be a security presence around the schools and warned that any student found flouting the laws would be dealt with according to the laws.
He also said the students would be charged for causing damages and be made to pay, adding “we are not going to allow anyone at all to break security on campus and in this region.”
Mr Zachary Yorose, the Principal of the Bolgatanga Technical Institute, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the students picked up by the NIB were two final-year students and two second-year students.
He said the teacher (name withheld) who is the Head of the Electrical Department had created a WhatsApp group page involving himself, the students and a National Service Person.
It is alleged that some of the Mathematics questions were posted on the WhatsApp page by the National Service Person which the second-year students solved and the third-year students went out of the examination hall to access.
He said the suspects were sent to the Regional Headquarters of NIB in Bolgatanga where they were later released but asked to report later.
The principal said he had sent the suspects back to the NIB quarters for them to report themselves when the students began rioting, destroying properties, and pelting stones.
He said it was believed that the students were protesting the interrogation of the suspects and the strict nature of invigilation which did not allow them to cheat.
A total of 651 students from the Bolgatanga Technical Institute are taking part in the examination.