I walk by several times a week, and one day it was demolished! And the rubble was just left piled everywhere. A short section of wall was still standing. On it was the painted primary school decorations and teaching tools, now showing incongruously for all to see.
There has to be a story behind a scene like this, so I asked. The man who ran the school had built it on someone else’s land. The when he refused to vacate, the land owner took him to court. The court issued a judgment in favor of the land owner and ordered the school closed. But the man running the school ignored the court order and kept the school open. Negotiations failed. So, one day when the school was not in session, the land owner brought a bulldozer and the police, and they knocked down the buildings.
However, there are still kids in this school, just the other kind.
I never thought much about the kinds of systems and organizations a country needs. This story is about weak systems in Ghana that regulate land. Without those systems, real estate agents are self-appointed and some of them are crooks who will not hesitate to sell you a piece of land, or a building, that belongs to someone else. It happens all the time.
I suspect that the man who “owned” the school thought that he owned the land, only to find out that his title was junk. At first glance the situation was surprising and humorous. On another, it is a tragedy. On yet another, it is a story of a country where land used to belong to everyone and its use was regulated by the chief, but which has been and still is moving to a different system and there are lots of bumps along that road. It makes me glad to have grown up in a place with pretty good systems for such things, and it gives me empathy for the Ghanaians trying to buy a piece of land.
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