MEMORANDUM ON SOME EDUCATIONAL PROBLEMS IN THE KWAHU DISTRICT: PRESENTED TO GHANA AMBASSADOR IN SWITZERLAND BY SWISS-GHANA OKWAHUMAN ASSOCIATION IN GENEVA.
Summary: (1) Mpraeso SSS student affair.
(2) Nkwatia St. Peters SSS closure.
(3) Appeal to Ambassador.
(5) Campus Psychological services.
We the members of Swiss-Ghana Okwahuman Association have received these 2 news from Mpraeso/Nkwatia with great dismay, distress and much concern and hereby declare that: -
1. Immediate solutions be examined and instituted to help bring quickly, sanity/ normalcy to the disturbing situation in the schools.
2. We are by this, making direct appeal to the Ambassador, Dr. Kwame Bawua-Edusei to use his good offices and with the Minister of Education, jointly help resolve the issues.
3. Investigations are instituted to find out the root causes of the issues involved, to fix the lapses to help forestall any future occurrences of such unfortunate incidents.
4. Concerning the Mpraeso incident, even though the law should be applied to enforce discipline, that students should not be expelled from the school but be reinstated on conditions.
a. That we strongly hold the opinion students involved must be given needed thorough medical examination, psychologically assisted and culturally re-orientated.
b. That the said students should be encouraged and be given every necessary assistance to enable them continue with their education, to enable them reshape their personalities and help open the way for them to play their obligatory roles in the society in the near future.
5. On the incident involving Nkwatia St. Peter's Secondary, taking re-cognisance of advancement of information technology, that: -
a). We are calling on the authorities concerned to encourage the usage of communication utilities, while instituting measures to check their "over-exploitation and mis-application in campus."
b). That communications between student body and the authorities need to be improved to help promote dialogue to resolve teething problems before they erupt into any form of violence.
٭ e.g. exploring the field to appoint an Ombudsman to liase/mediate in student-school authority conflicts. Hopefully, such independent/neutral body, providing easy access to students, could resolve issues without any form of prejudice.
?. We also hold the view those interactions between students in the various Institutions should be encouraged.
Need for intervention: By Dr. E.K.A. Dankwa, a physician specialist and Member of the Association.
Hopefully our intervention on this incident would not be seen as dictating to the Authorities or interfering with their work. I can imagine the investigations have been done or it will be concluded soon.
In my opinion whatever the punishment for those involved will be, they Should be given the opportunity to write their final paper and to be given the chance to prepare for the exams (If I am right there are many final year students involved) I can imagine if they will be asked to leave the boarding facilities at school, it must be possible for them to take the exams as day students.
I think lessons should be learnt from this issue and measures will be taken to avoid a repeat. Of course those students involved must be disciplined to serve as a deterrent, hopefully their future should also be considered.
In another development, Dr. Abena Adjepong, Psychoanalyst and President of the Association, touching on the 2 issues in Nkwaita and Mpraeso, writes:
1). There is an urgent need for our Educational System to find modern problem solving measures that effectively address our modern problems in a constructive and long lasting manner! (Mobil phones, Valentines day, Group Sex, Nigerian Men, European Men and Women, etc).
2). The need for on campus Psychological services has never been a part of our Educational System. With our growing economy, greater affluence, new social problems, we are faced with new challenges which calls into action new ways to educate our children. Some of the old ways of handling issues are no (rpt no) longer effective.
3). There is no doubt, I agree that they have to differentiate and treat the problem on it's various levels. Let the students write their exams! Indefinite suspension will not solve the problem. What the children need immediately are continuous specialist support, counselling and guidance.
I believe they have already served their sentences on the capital punishment imposed on them, through worldwide press 'trial by fire', and suffered enough psychosomatic damage through humiliation.
4). I read about another student being sentenced to flogging in the same school. Flogging is such an aggressive and humiliating form of discipline; I do not know why it is still permitted in our schools. We have enough wars in the world! Let sanity prevail in justice, and let temper justice with mercy.
Sgn: (Kwaku Boatin, Vice-President).