05.03.2004 General News

Teachers who abuse pupils sexually should not be transferred -CJ

05.03.2004 LISTEN

Accra, March 5, GNA - Mr Justice George Kingsley Acquah, Chief Justice, on Friday condemned the spate of sexual abuse of pupils by some teachers in the country.

He pointed out that sexual abuse of pupils by teachers was not only immoral, but also illegal so it should not be condoned.

The Chief Justice expressed these sentiments at a Multi Sectoral Committee on Child Protection (MCCP) meeting in Accra.

The meeting, which aimed at condemning all forms of abuses against children, drew members from the Ghana Education Service (GES); Judicial Service; Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU) of the Ghana Police Service and the Attorney General's Department.

The rest were UNICEF, the Ghana National Commission on Children (GNCC) and International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA).

Mr Justice Acquah, therefore, called on the GES and the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), to take a second look at the Teachers' Handbook, which, he said, had a bureaucratic process of reporting teachers, who engaged in illicit acts with pupils.

He said the procedure for reporting such teachers took a long time and "by the time these cases were reported to the higher authorities, evidence needed for prosecution might have been tampered with making the work of the Police and the Judiciary very difficult.

The Chief Justice noted that teachers, who normally engaged in illicit acts in a particular district, were normally transferred to other districts.

This, he said, did not solve the problem, as those teachers continued to commit similar crimes in their new places. He called for outright dismissal and prosecution of such teachers in order to serve as deterrent to others.

Mrs Marilyn Amponsah Annan, Acting Executive Secretary of GNCC, advised pupils to report the conduct of teachers, who made advances to them.

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