General News of 2014-04-20

Schoolchildren complain about transport fares

The recent increase in fuel prices, which has led to a 10 per cent adjustment in transport fares, has not only affected the working class and adult commuters but has also hit schoolchildren who trek to and from school every day.
Some schoolchildren the Junior Graphic spoke with complained that despite the fare adjustments, their parents and guardians had not reviewed their daily pocket money and this had affected their daily trips.
A student from Santa Maria, a suburb of Accra, and a student of St Luke’s Anglican School, Ms. Hilda Boakye said she had to walk from her house to school at Kwashieman, a distance of about one and half kilometres, because she did not have enough money to board a vehicle.
According to her, she decided to walk because she wanted to save herself from the public ridicule because she knew the money she had was not enough to pay for her journey to school. She further said that since there were no free bus ride services in her area, she had to walk in order not to miss school.
Another student, Master Martin Owusu of the Kinbu Senior High/Technical School, mentioned discomfort on the bus rides to school despite the increase in fares.
According to him, the buses that ply the Kwashieman-Accra route take five passengers on a row instead of the approved four, pointing out that the drivers must abide by the authorised number of passengers on seats to ensure passenger safety and comfort.
A bus conductor at Kwashieman, Mr. Eben Lartey, pointed out that drivers had duly adjusted the transport fares in accordance with the directives issued by the Ghana Road Transport Co-ordinating Council (GRTCC) and the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU).
He, therefore, advised passengers not to blame drivers, saying: "I don't know why passengers always fight us whenever there is an increase in fares."
A parent, Madam Vida Frempongmaa, also complained bitterly about the fares, saying the adjustments were too high.
Mr. Kwaku Tawiah, another parent at Abeka Lapaz, a suburb of Accra, implored parents to increase the pocket money they give to their children for school.
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