General News of Friday, 19 October 2018
The Ghana Education Service (GES) has clearly stated that it will enforce its directive to disallow the organisation of political activities in first and second cycle schools in the country.
According to the Chairman of the GES, Mr Michael Nsowah, politicians had no business campaigning in basic schools which had minors, nor in senior high schools where more than 80 per cent of the students were below 18 and, therefore, could not vote.
“We are not going to allow politics in schools. This is because we have a duty to protect children in all schools in the country.
“How many of these children are qualified to vote, and so if you go there what do you hope to gain? We are talking about 10 million children from kindergarten to junior high school (JHS).”
Mr Nsowah told the Daily Graphic in an interview.
He was reacting to a story published on Page 25 of the Saturday, October 13 edition of the Daily Graphic in which the Executive Director of Child’s Rights International, Mr Bright Appiah, said he was opposed to the directive from the GES to ban political activities in various schools in the country.
Among other things, Mr Appiah said the GES must put in place the right structures that would allow political parties or politicians to sell their ideas or interact with students on issues related to governance and national development.
Mr Appiah’s comments were based on the decision by the GES to suspend the headmaster of the Tempane SHS, Mr Dominic Ndegu Amolale.
This was after a candidate contesting for the position of aspiring National Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Joshua Akamba, was seen in a video that went viral on social media, making statements on the challenges facing the implementation of the free SHS and inciting the students against the government during a visit to the school.
“We teach pupils and students about good governance, it comes through citizenship education in the lower classes and government in the SHS. We talk about what constitutes good governance – the taxes that are collected, how they are used and so on.
These are things that we teach the children so that when they become adults and want to become politicians, they will know what is good for the country,” he pointed out.
Moreover, Mr Nsowah said parents looked up to school authorities to provide protection for their children, and asked why anyone should encourage the organisation of political activities in schools which could sometimes be chaotic and rowdy on their compounds.
The GES Council chairman said in some instances, people fought for party T-shirts and “what do you think will happen when you have children around. We should be serious and allow children to be children, when they are out of school and qualify to vote, politicians can sell their messages to them”.
Mr Nsowah, who said he was surprised by the statement from Mr Appiah, indicated that, it was incumbent upon the management of schools not to allow anyone to organise any political activities in schools.