Ms Mary Magdalene Wompakeah, the Nabdam District Director of Education in the Upper East Region, has appealed to chiefs in the district to help schools demarcate their lands to have a well-defined territory for effective teaching and learning.
She said most schools in the district were often faced with strong opposition from the very community they were serving in their attempt to build walls or plant trees to protect the lands.
Ms Wompakeah cited the Dagliga Primary School as one example where illegal surface miners had destroyed the football field and footpath leading to the school, making it difficult for teachers and students to access the school.
The Director, at a community durbar held at the Zanlerigu Junior High School in the Nabdam District, said if the schools were encroached upon it would limit their ability to expand when the need arose, and called on the chiefs to intervene.
“Schools do not exist in a vacuum. Every school is situated and form part of a community. The schools exist to transmit and translate the values, norms, beliefs, needs and culture of society and, therefore, we need to protect our schools to sustain our culture,” she said.
The Director underscored the need for peace, unity and well-coordinated linkage of stakeholders in resolving the issue.
“It is incumbent on every institution, department and private individuals to skillfully play their various roles, whilst bearing in mind the need for mutual respect and regard for others in order to achieve the purpose of unity and development of our schools,” she said.
She said children of school going age were engaged in economic activities such as stone cracking and illegal mining to the detriment of their education and urged parents to prioritise their children’s education to improve their skills in whatever trade they found themselves.
Mr Agnes Anamoo, the Nabdam District Chief Executive, said the concerns of the District Education Service were in order and called for collaboration between the chiefs and their subjects to create an enabling environment for schools in the area.
She said Ghana’s independence was achieved through a united front of the forefathers and called on citizens to unite and fight for the common goal of development.
She said government was making efforts to include technical and vocational schools in the free secondary education, which senior high schools were enjoying, and called on students to take advantage of it.