The Africa Education Watch has described as arbitrary, archaic and contradictory the decision by the Ghana Education Service (GES) to expel seven female students from Ejisuman Senior High School boarding house over alleged misconduct on social media.
The management of Ejisuman Senior High School have sacked seven of their female students from the boarding facility for bringing the name of the school into disrepute.
The seven students were behind a video that had gone viral in which they were seen advising their fellow girls to give in to sexual demands of men.
Apart from the embarrassment, their conducts has brought to the school, management of the school, in their letter written to suspend the seven students said the girls had breached three school rules.
The rules, as stated in the letter dated February 6, 2020 and titled Expulsion from Boarding House, said the students had used unauthorized gadget [mobile phone] to dent the image of the school.
The other grounds stated in the letter which was addressed to the Regional Director of the Ghana Education Service said the students had intentionally uploaded the video on social media where unprintable words that border on sex were spewed.
In a statement signed by the Executive Director, Kofi Asare, punishing girls by sacking them from boarding school only places them in hostels without any parental or school control.
The statement indicated that it exposes them to further delinquency and harm from society.
According to the statement, a positive discipline strategy must reform offending students rather than expose them to even higher levels of delinquency and truancy.
Read full statement below:
10th February, 2020
Expulsion Of Seven (7) Girls From Boarding House In Ejisuman Senior High School
Our attention has been drawn to a letter from the management of Ejisuman SHS indicating the expelling of seven (7) of its female students from boarding school for social media misconduct. We note that, in as much as it is important to sanction students when they breach the rules of conduct in school as a way of instilling discipline and deterring others, the GES must not lose sight of the fact that, most of these decisions may be arbitrary, archaic and contradictory.
- Ghanaian children have the right to education duly captured in law. At the continental level, the Right to Education is enshrined in Article 17 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights which states that “every individual shall have the right to education”, cascading to Article 32 of the 1992 Ghanaian Constitution, the Education Act (Act 778) and the Children’s Act, (Act 560).
- The GES has a mandate to groom students to become literates, numerates and responsible adults. In fulfilling this mandate, secondary schools have the responsibility to teach, mentor and discipline students when they break school rules. It is heart-warming that the GES now has a positive discipline policy. However, the use of de-boardinization as a tool for positive discipline has far outlived its relevance. Since the 1990’s, it has ended up making students even more truant than reforming them.
- According to section 2 of Ghana’s Children Act, ‘...the best the interest of the child shall be the primary consideration by any court, person, institution or other body in any matter concerned with a child.
- Punishing girls by sacking them from boarding school only place them in hostels without any parental or school control. This exposes them to further delinquency and harm from society. A positive discipline strategy must reform offending students rather than expose them to even higher levels of delinquency and truancy.
- It is time the GES takes a second look at de-boardinization as a form of punishment for barding students and adopt progressive sanctions that actually reform offending students. Les not throw the baby away with the bath water. The Ejisuman SHS action and many other similar previous actions need revision.
- We call for public discourse by all stakeholders, especially Parent Teacher Associations and the media on this matter.
Kofi Asare Executive DirectorAfrica Education Watch109 Avenue E, Kofi Annan Ave. North Legon.Tel. 0209977899