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07.10.2004 General News

CHASS Chairman calls for probe into bribery allegations

By GNA

Cape Coast, October 7, GNA- The Chairman of the Central region branch of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), Mr Crosby Ashun, on Thursday, urged the Ghana Education Service (GES) to investigate allegations that some heads of Senior Secondary Schools (SSS) collected monies from parents and guardians before admitting their wards to SSS one.

Mr Ashun, who made the call during a telephone interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Cape Coast, appeared quite incensed by the allegations, saying that it cast a slur on the integrity of all members of CHASS.

He however, consented that there "is no smoke without fire", and that such an investigation would benefit the Ghanaian society. On Tuesday, the Public Relations Officer of the GES, Mr Paul Kofi Krampa, issued a statement that the GES had "noted with grave concern that some headmasters had been collecting monies from parents and guardians", and warned that any headmaster caught would be dealt with. Mr Ashun, who is also the Headmaster of Mfantsipim Secondary School, said immediately after the selection of candidates into SSS 1 in the region, he called an emergency meeting of all SSS heads and warned them against any such malpractices.

When he was asked about allegations that some SSS heads in the region were taking between one and 10 million cedis from each guardian and that, and in some cases, dropped qualified for unqualified candidates, Mr Ashun said no such reports have reached him, and challenged victims of such malpractices "to be bold enough to come out".

" I can stand up with my chest out that I have not taken a pesewa. I am ready to defend myself", he declared, and urged the media and the public in general "to put up a strong case" for investigations to be conducted, stressing that those who claim to have paid out such monies, must also be held responsible.

He expressed concern that if such allegations are true, then it means the affected students would not have any respect for the school authorities, since they have already perceived them to be corrupt.

Touching on the number of candidates selected to SSS 1, Mr Ashun said his school, "was still considering" a few more applications and that as at now, 460 students have been admitted into form one.

According to him, his school faces a problem of inadequate dormitories and that the two hostels it was running outside the school campus have had to be closed due to the bad behaviour of students located there.

The Assistant Headmaster of Adisadel College, Mr Kwadwo Asiedu, also in a telephone interview, told the GNA, that he could "vouch for his headmaster", that he has not taken any monies before students before admitting them.

He repeated the call by the National CHASS Chairman for anyone who could substantiate the allegation to do so.

He said admissions to the school's form one, had been 500 for the past two to three years, and that the school needs 12 or 13 classrooms to accommodate them. He said the school now has 10 classrooms.

The Assistant Headmaster of Aggrey Memorial School, Reverend Wilberforce Wireko, said; " I don't know anything about taking of bribes concerning admissions", he however said he was not involved in the admission of students.

He told the GNA that the Headmaster, Mr Kwesi Appiah-Dunkwa, had travelled to Accra to seek approval from the GES head office for his school to admit more than the maximum admissions of 500 stipulated by the ministry of education, because it has the facilities to admit more. The GNA visited some Senior Secondary Schools in the township on Wednesday and found that some parents could still be seen making frantic efforts to have their wards admitted to secondary schools in Cape Coast.

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