GES warns teachers against using girls as maidservants

By Albert Futukpor, GNA

Keri (V/R), Oct. 25, GNA – The Ghana Education
Service (GES) has warned that its code of ethics frowns on male teachers using
school girls as maidservants or sending them on errands to their houses to
cook, wash or to do anything for them.  

Madam Catherine Nutsugah Mikado, Director,
Girl Child Education Unit of GES, who gave the warning, said “we have realised
that male teachers are taking undue advantage of the girls by sending them on
errands and abusing them unduly,” warning that such teachers would not be
spared.

She was speaking at a Take Home Ration event
organised by the World Food Programme (WFP) on Wednesday at Keri Junior High
School (JHS) in the Nkwanta South Municipality of the Volta Region to present
cash grants to girls for attending school.

The presentation of the cash grants to the
girls formed part of the WFP’s Removing Barriers to Gender Equality programme
to improve girls’ attendance and retention in schools in the Northern Savannah
areas.

As part of the programme, adolescent girls in
JHS 1 – 3 in participating schools received approximately GHc47 cash for
attending school as per the criteria, for one month or GHc141 for three months.

The presentation of the cash grants to girls
began simultaneously this week in all the participating schools in the Nkwanta
South Municipality and Nkwanta North District.

Madam Nutsugah Mikado said male teachers who
sent girls on errands to their houses ended up impregnating them adding “Some
are having sex and sometimes when the girls refuse their proposals, they punish
them, they mark them down, which is not good.”

She said such a practice was not motivating
enough for the girls to stay in school “When we are trying everything possible
to retain the girls in the school. It is very sad for some teachers to be using
this kind of intimidation to demotivate the girls and at the end of the day,
the girls drop-out from school.”

She warned male teachers not to send the girls
to their houses for anything adding “If they want maidservants or people to
serve them, they should get their own people to serve them because we have
realised that it is causing a lot of havoc to our girls.”

Her statement drew wild applause from the
audience comprising parents, traditional authorities, opinion leaders and
pupils from the community, who gathered to observe the event, implying that the
practice was widespread.

Madam Nutsugah Mikado said “There is a
guideline that when you get pregnant, you should remain in school but you know
that when you get pregnant there are so many challenges so we want to avoid it
to prevent the pregnancy for the girls so that they can remain in school and
learn in comfort so that they can progress.”

She lamented that parents sometimes refused to
support authorities when they handed over such teachers to law enforcement
agencies saying it was a challenge to ensuring that such erring teachers were
punished to deter others.

Mr Dzorgbenyui Banini, Nkwanta South Municipal
Coordinating Director urged parents amongst other stakeholders to prioritise
education of their children to produce responsible citizens.

Mr Banini commended WFP for helping to improve
girl child education in the area.

Madam Rukia Yacoub, Representative and Country
Director of WFP expressed the need for all children to acquire education
assuring that WFP would continue to support efforts to improve the nutritional
status of children in the country.

GNA

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