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06.01.2006 Regional News

Otumfuo warns against encroachment of school lands


Kumasi, Jan 6, GNA - Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, has warned that he could no longer tolerate traditional authorities in Ashanti who allow developers to encroach on school lands. He has, therefore, called on the Lands Commission to help define all boundaries of school lands in the region so that fence walls could be erected to stop the encroachments.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu said this when a delegation of the Ashanti Regional office of the Ghana Education Service (GES) called on him at the Manhyia Palace to introduce to him Mrs Belinda Serwaa Addo, the new Regional Director.

He said reports on land encroachments that he had received included Osei Kyeretwie Secondary School and University Education, Winneba (Kumasi Campus).

''Someone has written a letter to the Headmistress of Yaa Asantewaa Girls Secondary School to demand payment of compensation for the school land.''

The Asantehene expressed surprise that a person should demand compensation for land that had been utilized for a school that benefits the community and the country as a whole.

He said when the Lands Commission gave out the defined boundaries for schools and fence walls were erected, those whose houses fall within the boundaries would have to resolve their problems with the school authorities.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu called on those who use the teaching field as a stepping-stone to enter other institutions to change their attitude. The Asantehene advised the new director to make efforts to deal with teachers whose performances were below expectation. "While we are urging the government to improve your service conditions, teachers must change their attitude to work".

Otumfuo Osei Tutu told teachers "your salaries are nothing to write home about. Previously teachers were providing voluntary services but they no longer offer such services because of the changing times.'' Otumfuo Osei Tutu urged the heads of departments of the GES in the region to co-operate with the new director so that she could work to raise the standard of education in the region.

"My focus on education is very high, that is why with the World Bank grant of 4.5 million dollars, I ensured that over 40 schools were built in deprived areas and to enable teachers to stay in those areas, we constructed bungalows, toilet facilities and boreholes to give them good drinking water".