Lands Minister to reopen School of Survey after students agitation calms

Lands Minister, John Peter Amewu says the Ghana School of Survey and Mapping (GSSM) would be reopened, a day after he ordered its closure over students’ vandalism.

He told Joy News Wednesday, an investigation has been opened into the circumstances that led to the destruction of properties belonging to the Lands Commission and a contractor working on the school’s land Monday.

“We will call them [students] back when the issues are resolved,” he said.

Related Article: Lands Minister orders closure of School of Survey, Mapping

The Minister had directed the Lands Commission Tuesday evening to shut down the school following destruction of properties on the school’s land.

The Monday rampage by the GSSM students was in reaction to reports about the sale of the land to a private developer for the construction of a shopping mall.

The GSSM Students Representative Council (SRC) said there has not been any plan to relocate the school in the face of the sale of the land.

In protest, the students dismantled aluminium sheets the contractor had used to cordon-off part of the land as well as some mapping tools belonging to the Lands Commission.

The Minister at a news conference described the behavior of the students as unlawful, adding it amounted to a breach of administrative procedures.

Mr Amewu dismissed the claim that the school’s land had been sold to a private developer for the building of a shopping mall. He said he had directed part of the land to be used for the construction of an office complex for the Commission.

He directed the school to be closed down and implored the teaching staff to be reassigned other responsibilities in the country’s land administration.

The development has not pleased students who thronged to the school premises to protest. They were met with the heavy presence of police personnel who have been dispatched to maintain peace.

Some students in an interview with Joy News registered their displeasure with the Minister’s directive.

“This is a school, is that how to close a school?” a male student asked, adding the Minister wants to frustrate them.

A female student who could not hide dissatisfaction told Joy News, “we thought a better solution will come out of the issue but not this.”

“We are not moving an inch [because] we are paying fees and doing everything necessary,” she dared the Minister.

But Mr Amewu said the students would be recalled after investigations into the issue were completed. “The police are looking into the issue [but] it is important that we ask them to stay away.”

He disclosed they have been battling with several issues among which include the absence of accreditation for the school. The Minister said the National Accreditation Board has withdrawn accreditation for the school and they are working to restore it.

Story by Ghana | | Austin Brako-Powers | [email protected]