Three Students Unions, the National Union of Ghana Students(NUGS), the University Students Association of Ghana (USAG) and the Ghana Union of Professional Students (GUPS) have in three separate open letters written to the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Hon. John Peter Amewu to reconsider his decision on the closure of the Ghana School of Survey and Mapping (GSSM).
It would be recalled that somewhere last week, the students of the nation’s premier survey and mapping school met with the press and registered their displeasure over a portion of their school lands that has been given to a private developer allegedly to be used to build a shopping mall. The students after their encounter with the press, also demonstrated peacefully on their campus to press home their demand.
Following their demonstration which went overboard leading to some sort of vandalism in the school, the Minister of Lands in several media interaction threatened the closure of the school.
On Wednesday, the Ministry led a group of armed security officers to the campus of the school around 37military hospital to sack the students and closed the school.
This move by the ministry obviously has not gone down well with the students of Ghana and several students have taken to social media to register their “disgust” about the whole issue.
This compelled the three students Unions to write to the minster to change his decision. In a release signed by its press and Information Secretary Kwasi Frimpong, NUGS has suggested four things the minister should do to curb the menace
1. Take an active role in mobilizing for peace among The students,the school authorities and ask that the parcel of land which is the property of the government and hence the property of the school be left in the hands of the school authorities for onward development, this must be done as soon as possible. It must be a dialogue in the name of fashioning a comprehensive peace accord to the longstanding dispute over the school’s land.
2. Call for an immediate resume of the school as you have done in its closure. Take an active responsibility in reaching to their leadership: the SRC and any other Stakeholder (s) who have interests in this matter for a quick resolve.
3. Give an explicit Executive order (written statement) to those accused of encroaching on the land and thus wanting to use it for purposes either than improving on education to stop work and vacate the place with an immediate speed, given the magnitude of public interest, especially the various students union’s interest in this matter.
4. Lastly, do not play an ostrich and bury your head in the sand in respect to this matter, as an umbrella union , we shall mobilize our collective forces to demonstrate our disappointment in you and the current government. We shall forever remain solid, resolute and formidable in our fight to press home our demands in all of these suggestions given, herein .
On their part, a statement signed by the president of the University Students Association of Ghana (USAG), Mr. Emmanuel Kwarteng Frimpong said
“USAG have observed over the period some worrying and disturbing tendencies that have rocked the Ghana School of Survey and Mapping (GSSM) over issues pertaining to school land and the subsequent closure of the school by your ministry and for that matter you as the sector minister, We are therefore with this word of solidarity, reaffirming our collective believe and our collective support in respect to what our mother Union thus ,the National Union Of Ghana Students (NUGS) have categorically stated and catalogued in their comprehensive open letter to your noble self and the ministry and all stakeholders in this matter. We remain resolute in our affirmation of this stand , and we shall rise to the occasion to join them and other student movement across the country to demonstrate our anger and frustration towards your ministry and the current government if the issue is not dealt with.”
The Ghana Union of Professional Students(GUPS) whose president Mr. Bismark Gyamfi is also a student of GSSM has also issued a statement calling on the minister to reconsider his decision.
Several other students have expressed their sentiment and solidarity with GSSM on Social media particularly Facebook and Whatsapp.