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15.06.2004 Regional News

Pupils refused to go to school for fear of ritual murderers

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Nkontomire (Ash), June 15, GNA - Pupils of Nyamebekyere, Apuem and Brahabebome in the Atwima district of Ashanti have refused to walk the six-kilometre distance to attend school at Nkontomire for fear of being kidnapped for ritual purposes.

This was due to rumours circulating in the area that some ritual murderers were operating in the area.

These were among issues discussed when Mr Eddy Obeng-Darko, the Atwima District Director of Education interacted with the residents at Nkontomire near Mfensi on Monday after inspecting the Nkontomire school land, which has been encroached upon by private developers. Mr Fredua Agyemang, chairman of the School Management Committee (SMC), said the fear and panic among the residents has greatly affected the enrolment of the school, since more than 100 pupils come from the catchment areas.

The SMC, he said has held several meetings with the residents of the three affected farming communities and assured them of the protection, safety and security of their children to and from school at Nkontomire.

Mr Philemon Atta Gyamfi, headteacher of the school said the encroachment on the school land has made it impossible for the school authorities to construct a school park and other infrastructure to enhance effective teaching and learning.

Mr Obeng-Darko, who also inspected a junior secondary school block being put up by the Atwima district assembly to absorb the primary six pupils, was not happy about the rate the school land was being encroached upon.

He said the construction of the JSS block would be meaningless if enough land was not provided for workshops, football fields, farming purposes and other facilities that would promote efficient educational programmes.

Mr Obeng-Darko therefore entreated the community to urgently demarcate the school land for future expansion to benefit the residents. He later interacted with teachers at Asakraka and Amadum-Adankwame.

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