A FIVE-Member Presidential Committee, tasked with the responsibility of unraveling the circumstance in which two students of the Yaa Asantewaa Girls Senior High School at Tanoso near Kumasi, in January this year fell prey to the sexcapades of two sons of the Headmistress of the school, Mrs. Elizabeth Malik Jabir, has completed its findings, and is putting the report together for submission any time soon.
The Committee is comprised of a representative each from the Ghana Education Service Council (Chairman), Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), Internal Audit of GES, Ghana National Association of Teachers, and Conference of District Directors of Education.
The probe follows a petition on June 3, this year by a section of the teaching staff, who leveled various allegations against the Headmistress, after three other Disciplinary Committees had failed to fully address the concerns raised.
The signatories included Nana Adansi-Pipim, Chairman of the Teachers' Welfare Association, Messrs Mark Anthony Ankudey, P. K. Agyekum, Effa Johnson, George Mensah (tutors), and Mrs. Comfort Boama-Djan, Head of English/Twi Department, and Ms Abena Darkwa, a Housemistress.
Among the concerns and the immediate cause of the probe, was the allegation of a sex scandal involving two final year students of the school, (names withheld), and two sons of the Headmistress late last January, while she was away in Accra for a moderation meeting at the West African Exams Council (WAEC).
The two girls were found to have been 'camped' by the two sons in a bedroom in the Headmistress' residence on January 29, 2009.
Earlier, on January 28, the boys had engaged the same girls in an encounter till 10:00 p.m., before returning to their respective dormitories, boasting to other girls that they had had a “good time” with the Headmistress' sons.
The girls, who had been locked up in the bedroom upstairs, were rescued by the Senior Housemistress, Mrs. Harriet Kotey, and the two assistant headmistresses, Mrs. Mary Owusu Yeboah (Administration) and Mrs. Agnes Dadson (Domestic), after they sought the assistance of the school carpenter to break into the locked bedroom.
One of the girls disclosed to The Chronicle that some of the girls (names withheld), who are in serious relationships with the headmistress' sons, had been sleeping in the headmistress' bungalow with the boys, whenever she travels.
The Presidential Committee would also be looking at other allegations like the extortion of various sums of monies from students without receipts, with the connivance of a private secretary, one Samira.
The Headmistress has been accused of inefficiency, mismanagement and misapplication of school resources, both human and material.
While the staff says she lacks a dependable, progressive and consultative leadership style to groom the students, other stakeholders say, her administration lacks accountability and transparency, and that she resorts to divide and rule tactics, thus destroying the school.
The five-member committee was also charged to assess the truth, or otherwise of negligence on the part of the Headmistress leading to the amputation of a student.
The probe, The Chronicle learnt, was also prompted by calls by major stakeholders, namely parents, teaching staff, as well as the Old Students Association of the School, to the Board of Governors for the replacement of the Headmistress before the school collapses.
(Details of allegations of extortion and non-transparency later).
A Disciplinary Committee, which was set up in conjunction with the Board and Parent/Teacher Association (PTA) in February to investigate the incidences, is yet to make any recommendations.
The petitioners are calling for further investigations to be made on the sexual relations of the Headmistress' sons with students of the school over the years, as well as proper forensic auditing of the school's accounts.
They have also called for a proper settlement package for Mary Kissi, whose leg was amputated from the sheer negligence of the Headmistress, and the immediate replacement of Ms. Vivian Boakye Tandoh, the Housemistress who refused to allow the girl seek medial treatment. Headmistress Malik Jabir would not comment on the issues raised by her accusers.
After two days of indecision about whether to meet this reporter for her side of the story, she directed him to the Regional and Metro Directors of Education, because she did not want to pre-empt findings of the Presidential Committee.
She, however, told the Metro Director, in a memo, that the girls made an unlawful entry into her bungalow while she was away, and that she suspects some teachers were behind the issue. The Regional Director, Mr. Joseph Onyinah, also declined to make any comments, saying, “We are waiting for the recommendations of the Presidential Committee, and have nothing to say on the issue.”
The Kumasi Metropolitan Director of Education, Mrs. Gladys Amaning, would not want to go into details of the allegations, except that a directive had been issued banning all male dependants of teachers and employees of the Yaa Asantewaa School from staying on campus.
“I have asked all masters and mistresses to relocate their sons from the school,” she told The Chronicle in response to enquiries, but she did not say whether the directive applied to other girls' schools in the metropolis.
Meanwhile, Mr. P. K. Agyekum, Head of the Business Department of the school, has since July 8, 2009 been transferred. He is accused of initiating personal investigations into the case, and not informing the Headmistress before divulging information relating to the scandal to the Board Chairman and PTA Chairman.
Mrs. Gladys Amaning, Metro Director of Education, acting on Mr. Agyekum's conduct, indicated in a correspondence that his (Agyekum's) conduct was unethical and inappropriate, hence his transfer to the Kwadaso Sub-Metro Office of the Ghana Education Service.