About 40 parents of pupils of Achimota Preparatory School have besieged the premises of the school to demand justice over what they describe as the unfair and arbitrary closure of the school by armed police officers and officials of the Ghana Education Service.
Most of the parents who spoke to Citi News expressed their disappointment in the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Professor Kwasi Opoku Amankwa who they said sanctioned the takeover of the school in a way that terrorised pupils who were in class at the time.
The parents, who were later dispersed by personnel of the Achimota Police Station, said the GES has no legitimacy to take over the institution.
According to them, the GES director has failed to produce a copy of the supposed court ruling that grants it permission to take over the school.
One parent who spoke to Citi News said, “We engaged the Director-General of Ghana Education Service last Tuesday, and we asked him to show us the court ruling, and he said he will not show it to us… He said they were going to engage us further, so I was surprised to hear that he has brought policemen to terrorize the children. I’m surprised that a whole Director-General of Education will bring policemen to terrorize children. This is not fair. The GES Director-General has disappointed me big time.”
“I didn’t know what was going on until my son came home crying that policemen with guns are all over the school and the school has been locked… The boy was frightened. He is only 12 years old, and he is mourning his father. I have lost my husband he hasn’t overcome that yet and you people came to the school with the police. The case is in court so if you claim you won, do you have to come to school to attack the child?” said another parent.
Citi News reported last Friday that officials of the Ghana Education Service (GES) in the Okaikwei North District had locked up offices and classrooms of the Achimota Preparatory School following a court order received by the GES to take over the management of the school.
The ruling was given on March 2020, according to a statement from the GES.
The Service explained that the land and building being occupied by the Achimota Preparatory School formed part of Achimota School Land per the Achimota School Ordinance No. 7 & 1948.
The preparatory school was for some expatriates during the colonial era and was established for their children, staff of Achimota School and the University College of the Gold Coast.
Over time, the expatriates left the management of the school in the hands of locals who, from time to time, form a management committee to run the school as a private institution. APS has been operating that model to date.
The GES explained that “sometime in the 1960s, Achimota School granted a lease to APS to allow it to operate from the premises, which expired in 1970.”
In January 2020, amid the contentions, the Parent-Teacher Association of the Achimota Preparatory School said it would resist attempts by the GES to take over the school.
It has also accused the GES of acting in bad faith in the matter.