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Boakye Gyan Pulls Down School   
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Part of the demolished classroom block
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Over 360 children of the Babianiha Roman Catholic Primary School, near Drobo in the Jaman South District of the Brong Ahafo region have been displaced following the demolishing of their school building.

Primary One to Four structures were demolished on the alleged orders of Major (Rtd) Kojo Boakye Gyan, a resident of the community, who doubles as National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary candidate for the constituency.

The NDC parliamentary candidate, affectionately called Boakye Gyan by his people, is reported to have ordered the demolishing of the school building without the knowledge of the school authorities and failed to provide alternative means to accommodate the children.

When DAILY GUIDE visited the school last Wednesday, some of the children were absent because they had no place to attend classes, while others were assembled in the few available classrooms.

The headmaster of the school, Dwaa-Boakye Yiadom, described the situation as “a very serious disaster in the community.”

He said that the situation had seriously affected enrolment since most parents had withdrawn their wards from the schools.

He revealed that the current situation was not conducive for effective academic work as two or more classes had been combined together in one small room.

Mr. Dwaa-Boakye explained that the school was to benefit from the construction of a six-unit classroom block with ancillary facilities by the Ministry of Education.

He said he later met the chiefs and elders of the community and the Roman Father to choose a place near the old cemetery for the project.

The headmaster stated that on 9th May, 2012, the director of the construction firm who was to execute the project Nana Obeng Asare, visited the school in the company of Osahene Boakye Gyan.

According to him, the retired army officer indicated that it was through his initiative that the project was secured and that he was not in agreement with the site selected by the chiefs and people for the project because it was close to an old and ‘unhealthy’ cemetery.

Mr. Dwaa-Boaky told Major Boakye Gyan that the old school building was built by his late father and that he wanted the new structure built at that same place in order to name it after him after completion.

The headmaster said he did not agree with him because a suitable site had already been settled upon, adding, “I told him that I know him as an individual and I alone cannot change the site since there are other stakeholders.”

He said on May 12, 2012 while he was away he got a distress call that Osahene Boakye Gyan had order the demolishing of the building.

Initially, only classes 4, 5 and 6 were used for tuition while the rest remained at home until such a time that primary five and six students were moved to join the JHS about half a mile away, leaving classes 2, 3 and 4 under the primary section.

Meanwhile, the new six-month project has not commenced. The school authorities have requested for four temporary structures to be constructed to serve as classrooms.

According to them, the two make-shift structures under construction will not be enough to house the children. When contacted, Major Boakye Gyan declined to comment and asked DAILY GUIDE to contact one Okala, who he described as his Chief of Staff for his account.

He however warned the paper not to listen to the headmaster because the reporter will be embarrassed when the full facts come out.

Major Boakye Gyan said he was not the only stakeholder in the project, adding “my view does not override the position of the key players.”

Okala, also called Appiah Kubi, told DAILY GUIDE that a resolution was passed by the entire community to demolish the structures. According to him, Osahene took care of the cost involved in the demolishing exercise since he considered the project as laudable.

Okala explained that the NDC candidate lobbied for the project but rejected the location.

Okala stated that the demolishing of the old building did not cause any problems for the school contrary to the claims of the school authorities.

He accused the teachers of engaging in politics and warned that the community will not forgive them for disrupting the project.
Source: Fred Tettey Alarti-Amoako, Babianiha

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