Sexual Abuse: Interdiction alone not enough; prosecute culprits – Stakeholders to GES

General News of Saturday, 24 November 2018

Source: kasapafmonline.com

2018-11-24

File photo: Sexual abuse is on the rise across basic and high schools in the country

Stakeholders in Education have called on the Ghana Education Service to take further action to get rid of teachers who sexually abuse school children.

At a stakeholders meeting held in Koforidua by Plan International Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), as part of it “Girls Get Equal” project aimed at removing barriers inhibiting girl child education, the NGO revealed that a study conducted 10 years ago in Awutu-Senya, Efutu and Upper Manya Krobo Districts showed about 14 percent of school children (aged 14 to 15) experienced various forms of sexual abuse.

The main perpetrators of the abuses, according to the study, were teachers, forming 21 percent and only 30 percent of the victims gathered courage to tell someone about it.

The forum comes on the heels of GES sacking of the infamous ‘stool sex’ headmaster and 9 others for sexual abuse offends among others.

Ten staff of the Ghana Education Service (GES) have had their appointments terminated by the Service for committing various offenses which is against Code of Professional Conduct of the GES.

Out of the ten, six were dismissed over sexual and or immoral misconduct.

They are Mr. Vincent Nii Amah Otoo, St. Francis SHTS, Akim Oda, Mr. Lester Ansah Djan, Benkum SHS, Larteh – Akuapem, Mr. Adjetey Anum James, Okumaning Ugars Basic, Okumaning Eastern Region, Mr. Bright Akpalu, Akwatia Presbyterian JHS, Akwatia, Mr. William Akompong, Nyankumasi SHS, Assin Nyankumasi and Mr. Robert Seppey, Adumanu D/A Basic School, Asikuma Odoben Brakwa.

Three out of the ten were also dismissed after being convicted of stealing by the court.

They are Madam Comfort Oduro Bruce, Ghana Secondary School, Koforidua, Mr. Alfred Kumah, Regional Education Office, Koforidua, and Mr. Kwasi Agyeman, SDA SHS, Koforidua.

One other person, Mr. Wayuga Mumuni, United Basic School, Tumu, Upper West Region, has also received his marching orders from the GES after being convicted of defilement.

A statement dated November 22, 2018 and signed by Cassandra Twum Ampofo, Head, Public Relations Unit, GES, said the decision to dismiss the ten was taken after they went through due process at all levels from the school through to the GES Council.

“This is to serve as a deterrent to others who have the intention of doing similar things”, the statement in part read.

However, at the forum by stakeholders in the sector, various speakers expressed worry about the growing incidence of sexual abuse of girls in Ghanaian schools and called on authorities to take action to stem the tide.

The Acting Regional Director of Department of Children, Emmanuel Dartey said teachers found culpable must not only be interdicted but must be prosecuted.

Barbara Vida Ntow -In charge of Basic Education in the Eastern Region said GES is does not shield teachers accused of sexual abuse contrary to public perception.

The CEO of International Child Development Program, Joyce Lanyo said GE sexual abuse is rife in schools hence GES must strategize to eradicate the menace.

On his Part, the Eastern Regional Director of Plan International Ghana, Kofi Adade Debrah appealed to Government to resource social welfare to provide child supporting systems to help in protecting children from abuse.

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