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Pupils stranded as angry contractor locks up school over gov't's indebtedness

Pupils of the Roman Catholic Primary School in Akyem Asene, located in the Asene Manso Akroso district of the Eastern Region, faced an unexpected hurdle on the morning of Wednesday, February 21 when they arrived at school only to find the gates locked, leaving them stranded.

Angry contractor locks up school over government's indebtedness, pupils stranded

Reports say the contractor responsible for the school building project, Agyekum Kontor, CEO of Kontor Sadea and Sons Company Ltd, took the drastic measure of locking up the premises to demand payment from the government.

He lamented that despite completing the school project more than seven years ago, he has yet to receive payment from the government through the district assembly. "I have constructed this classroom block since 2016 but I have not been paid. They should pay by tomorrow. I have been at GETFUND for many times but they haven’t paid me," Kontor emphasized, as quoted by starrfm.com.gh. "They have not paid me a penny but I handed over the facility to them in 2021."

This is not the first time Kontor has resorted to such measures to get the attention of the government. He revealed, "I have shut down the school on two occasions in which the DCE intervened to beg. Whenever I shut down the school they come to beg me and out of compassion for the children I open it but now I am broke." He made it clear that until he receives the payment owed to him, he will not reopen the school for the children.

The closure of the school left the pupils in a state of uncertainty. Some expressed frustration, unsure whether to wait at the locked gates or return home.

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Authorities of the school have called on the government to ensure a speedy resolution of the payment issue with the contractor lamenting the current situation poses a risk of disruption to the education of the affected children.

Efforts to reach out to the district assembly and government officials for comments on the matter were unsuccessful at the time of reporting.

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