OKUAPEMAN Senior High School is a highly respected and glorious secondary school situated two kilometres from Akropong, in the Eastern Region.

Established in February 1957, by the renowned lawyer Opoku Akyeampong, the school is regarded as a citadel of knowledge and educational excellence, but now it faces extinction.

The 435-acre school land on which the assembly hall, teachers’ bungalows, headmaster’s flat and a number of classrooms and dormitories are situated, is a subject matter of court litigation.

The family of Nana Asiamah Aboakye of Larteh is reported to have been awarded ownership of the land by an Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Nana Gyamera Tawiah, in 2012.

Following the court decision, the school is now under threat, and if the family decides to execute the court ruling, then the school buildings on the land has to be demolished.

As the matter stands now, the option left for the school is either to appeal against the court’s decision, or negotiate with the family for an out-of-court settlement, otherwise the education of the students would be in jeopardy.

Now, parents and students as well as old students and authorities of the school must be feeling very uneasy, since they cannot look on for the school to fold up.

It is regrettable that the issue has been allowed to reach this point, without the government intervening early to avert the current crisis.

It is gratifying, however, that the government has given the assurance that it would meet the family and other stakeholders to find an amicable solution to the matter.

The Times is aware that Okuapeman is not the only school facing this situation. Several other schools across the country are either battling traditional owners of lands they occupy, or are facing encroachment from community members.

Indeed, we have reported severally on many schools whose lands are being taken over by unscrupulous people, yet nothing is being done about it.

Two of such schools, the West African Senior High School in Accra and the Sogakofe Senior High School in the Volta Region, are virtually under siege and need urgent help to ward off the encroachers.

We urge the government to take the necessary steps to support these schools to resolve the challenges, before we lose all the lands to encroachers.

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