Plans to construct a six-unit classroom block with ancillary facilities for the Akatsi Demonstration School in the Akatsi South District of the Volta Region is being delayed as a result of litigation over the rightful ownership of the land earmarked for the project.
The project to be provided by Pencils of Plastics, a non-governmental organisation, at no cost to the government and the community has stalled after the Shalom Global Evangelical Church which operates on the same compound with the school claimed the land and the school belongs to the church.
The school committees, comprising the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), the School Management Committees (SMCs) and the Demonstration Area Development Association (DADA) are however disputing the claim, alleging that the church was usurping the school and interrupting every development project of the school.
According to them, the school was built in the 1960s to serve as a demonstration school for the then Akatsi Training College and wondered how the church would have acquired the school and land when the Global Church separated from the EP Church, which was its mother branch in the 1990s.
APTA source in an interview at Akatsi on Monday told the Ghanaian Times that the attitude of the church was depriving the school of the needed infrastructure to promote teaching and learning.
The source stated that the church had erected a shed at the site earmarked for the project which should have taken six months to complete, adding that with the blocking of the site there was no way the school could benefit from the project if the issue was not resolved.
The source explained that the school management committees in an effort to resolve the matter wrote to the chair of the Justice and Security Committee of the sub-committee of the assembly on July 7, 2019 to intervene, but could not do anything about it.
It claimed that the inability of the assembly to handle the impasse embolden some 2019 Basic Entrance Certificate Examination candidates who had written their last papers to attack the school with offensive weapons till the police were called in to restore order.
This, according to the source, forced the Avenor Traditional Council to set up a five-man fact-finding committee to investigate the disturbances in the school towards finding an amicable settlement.
But the source said the church had since failed to meet with the committee to help address the issue.
The chairman of the committee, Torgbui Doklo Akumas VI, who confirmed this to the Ghanaian Times expressed regret at the turn of event, and stated that the church after their first meeting declined to sit with committee to resolve the issue saying that the matter would be handled by its legal team.
The Presbytery chair of the church at Akatsi, Reverend M.M.K Avemegah when contacted declined to comment on the issue and directed the reporter to the headquarters of the church.
A source at the church’s headquarters told the Ghanaian Times that the legal team was handling the matter and would soon react appropriately.
From Lawrence Vomafa-Akpalu-Akatsi