St Charles Old Boys Association condemns arson attacks on school

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St Charles Minor Seminary
St. Charles Minor Seminary/Senior High School

The Old Boys Association of the St. Charles Minor Seminary/Senior High School has condemned the spate of arson attacks on the school, with a call on management to take immediate steps to abate them.

A statement from the Association jointly signed by Mark Ofori Amanfo, Victor Ninsau, Dominic Dery and David Kajah, Presidents for Greater Accra, Ashanti, Northern, USA and Canada branches, respectively and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Friday, said the recent arson attacks on the school had been disturbing and needed urgent attention in finding solutions to abate the fires.

“In the past four days, from Monday August 16 to Thursday August 19, 2021, there had been sustained, calculated and systematic attempts to burn one block or the other in the School.

“These attacks, the statement said, came on the heels of six previous attempts to burn down the school, ‘a school that has produced Archbishops and Bishops, Priests, Politicians, Professors, Lawyers, Engineers, Accountants, Teachers, etc who continue to give back to their communities in different ways and forms’.

The statement said the recent attacks had immensely interfered with and disrupted teaching, inflicted psychological trauma on both students and teachers and massive economic loss to the school and community.

“In a bid to contain this rather difficult and worrying situation, old boys in a meeting with management made some suggestions in addition to the support that we have always offered in the forms of books, cash donations and more recently the building of a dormitory block, which is at the foundation level.

“However, it is clear that management has so far failed to act on these suggestions, have not been innovative, and have not come up with alternative solutions to bringing this menace to an end,” the statement said.

The Association entreated management to improve on the lighting system in the School, prune trees on the school campus to increase visibility in order to deter intruders, and install close circuit television cameras (CCTV) to ensure real time monitoring of the campus and capture footages of those who engaged in the rather dastardly act.

The Association also urged management to increase security surveillance on campus especially in areas of the school that bordered the neighbourhoods to serve as a deterrent to would-be arsonists and/or intruders.

The management were also charged to improve school community relations in a bid to end the arson attacks through dialogue with its neighbours, adding that the neighbours would also ensure that they played a role of another layer of security.

Another measure to ensure security, was for management to install basic and relevant fire prevention devices in the School and engage undercover agents to gather information on why the perennial arson attacks since 2017.

The Association also called on the Ghana Education Service to get the Management of the School to be up and doing before they lost the school.

The Association, according to the statement said it was important for the Management of the School and the Church to be seen to be proactive in the disturbing situation, where attempts to burn the School down had become a daily affair in the past few days.

“We call on the School Management and the Church, to ensure that some practical and workable solutions are found and implemented to ensure peace and security.

“Lives and property in the School must be safeguarded to ensure confidence in the minds of both teachers and students. We are ever ready to continue to support any course at resolving this problem,” the statement said.

The Association also called on the Regional Security Council, especially the Ghana Police Service and the National Investigation Bureau to help identify those behind the fires and have them arrested.

The Association also charged the government and the GETFUND in particular to complete all projects at the school that had stalled and renovate or demolish burnt structures, as some of them might provide safe haven for criminals.

It admonished benevolent members of the society and all those with St. Charles at heart to rally behind the old boys to find a lasting solution to the recurrent problem.

The Association, in addition, appealed to the public for financial support to help in the renovation of the property that was burnt to restore normalcy to teaching and learning.

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