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18.07.2005 General News

Minister advocates demarcating and fencing of school lands

GNA

Sekondi, July 18, GNA - Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports, has said Ghana must have lands demarcated and fenced for educational purposes.

He said without such lands expansion of existing educational infrastructure and the siting of new schools would be difficult. Mr Osafo-Maafo said these, when he began a three-day tour of educational institutions in the Western Region. He said it was sad that chiefs and landowners were re-entering and selling unused school lands to private developers. Mr Osafo-Maafo stressed that all school lands could not be used within a short period and their owners should give school authorities the freedom to develop them when the need arose. He said school lands in Takoradi, Accra and Kumasi were currently facing this problem.

Mr Osafo-Maafo said to protect remaining school lands all schools should get titles to their properties and register them with the appropriate agencies.

He said all training colleges in the country would be provided with buses to facilitate teaching practice adding that their libraries would be rehabilitated and stocked with books while computer laboratories would also be established as part of the school reform programmes, which would begin in 2007.

He said the reforms could not achieve much if the training colleges were not properly equipped to implement the policy. Mr Osafo-Maafo said to uplift the image of training colleges, all principles would be provided with personal vehicles to boost their morale and improve teaching and learning.

The Minister said 10 training colleges had been selected to specialise in the sciences and become science-training colleges. Mr Osafo-Maafo, who addressed students of the Holy Child College, said Government was ready and would provide the necessary infrastructure to make their education a success.

He said the reforms in the educational sector would begin with the teacher and urged the trainee-teachers to be disciplined, computer literate and ready to serve and to improve upon their skills to nurture the human resource needs of the country. Mrs Cecilia Happy Quaye, Principal of the College, said the lack of accommodation for teachers and students was affecting teaching and learning.

She said intruders and some drivers had been using the school as a thoroughfare while students' properties were stolen on daily basis. Mrs Quaye said the landowners were selling the school's land and this was affecting the expansion of the College.

She said the staff commonroom; library and store of the school were too small.

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