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09.11.2005 Health

Akwatia School closes temporarily due to unhealthy environment

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Akwatia, Nov. 9, GNA - The Polite Preparatory and Junior Secondary School at Akwatia was closed down on Monday as a result of danger posed by mining on its compound.

The Kwaebibirem District Chief Executive, Mr Yaw Yiadom-Boakye, ordered the closure of the school when he and the District Director of Education, Mr Jonathan Akakpo visited the school to assess the environmental conditions there.

They found mined-out pits on the school compound and gravels being washed by the miners for diamonds sited close to the building while the children were in class.

The DCE said the school should remain closed until the entire surrounding have been reclaimed. He noted that the school's environment had become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, thereby putting the children at risk of contracting malaria, typhoid, cholera and pneumonia, apart from the danger of drowning.

The District Director, Mr Akakpo gave the school authorities two weeks to rehabilitate the compound and make it suitable for the children.

He warned that if the situation was not rectified within two weeks the school could be shut for good and the children readmitted in other schools.

Miss Zenabu Cobbina, Manageress of the school, as well as the teaching staff pleaded with the DCE and the District Director of Education to allow the school to operate while reclamation proceeded. However, their plea was turned down and the children sent home. The Polite School, popularly known as Mallam Musa School, had a population of over 500 at the end of the last academic year but as at yesterday, there were only about 120 children.

When the school was closed for the last holidays, its old block of six-classrooms was pulled down and its site mined for diamonds. The school authorities, it is learnt, had hoped to use the proceeds to complete a new block being constructed.

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