Mampong Deaf Students Face Eviction

The Mampong Akwapim School for the deaf faces imminent closure, with a possible eviction from the premises it is operating from, if it fails to meet a new contract proposal submitted to it by their landlord. Following the demise of the landlord, the new owners, in a review of the existing contract have submitted a monthly proposal of GH¢3,000.00 to the school, but the authorities say the amount is outrageous. It has not been ascertained how much the school has been paying throughout its thirty-five years of occupation on the said land, but sources say the amount charged as rent is within the means of the school. Following objections raised on the new contract proposal by the tenant (Akwapim School for the deaf), the matter has been sent to the Rent Control office at Koforidua in the Eastern region, for a determination to be made. “The amount charged as rent used to be yearly but due to the demise of the landlord, the new owners are demanding a monthly fee, which is way beyond our means,” noted Mr. Nathan Pecku, the Headmaster of the School. He told The Chronicle newspaperin an exclusive interview that the 342 students of the school can not be living in rented premises, which size is not big enough to create space for secondary/technical education. To compound matters, The Chronicle is informed that the school has accumulated rent arrears and is finding it difficult to settle them. This has informed the new landlords to review their contract with the school. The Mampong Akwapim School for the deaf, a secondary/technical school survives mainly on government funds and also donations from individuals and corporate bodies. According to the school authorities, they have arrived at a point where eviction is starring them in the face, due to the late release of funds by the government, as well as the outrageous rent charge from their new owners. This startling revelation was made by the school authorities when Starkey Hearing Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), in collaboration with the Korle-Bu Audiology Department visited the school and screened over two hundred students for the supply of hearing aid devices. Another pressing issue confronting the school is the lack of computers, making learning and teaching of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for the students and teachers very difficult. “We have no single computer in this school, in addition to other serious problems we face,” noted Mr. Nathan Pecku, Headmaster of the school. The school, which has students from Nigeria, Togo, La Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone and Kenya is in a state of despair, as the authorities strive under strenuous conditions to keep it running. At times, teachers have to use their own money to cater for some of the urgent needs of students as they await the government’s subvention. Mr. Pecku, alarmed by the state of the school has appealed to corporate bodies, philanthropic organizations and individuals to salvage his outfit from its predicament.