We read with disbelief the pernicious lies published about the Evangelical Presbyterian Church Mawuko Girls’ Senior High School, in issues number 0855-1503, dated Wednesday, May 18, 2016, (The Ghanaian Times) and later appearing as the editorial comment of The Spectator (Vol. 1,217) of Friday, May 27, 2016.
The educational report about our school, filed by Alberto Mario Norreti, became the editorial comment for The Spectator. The said news report is anything but the truth as far as operations of our school’s barbering shop are concerned. We wish to react as follows.
The title of the news report in the Ghanaian Times of 18th May, 2016 (Tension Mounts in Mawuko Girls SHS over Barbering Levy) was a misleading one.
There is no tension in our school over a “barbering levy” and there shall be none as the reporter was trying to instigate. The reasons are simple.
At our Parent Teacher Association Annual General Meeting (PTA AGM) held on Saturday the 6th of December 2014, the P.T.A. of E.P.C. Mawuko Girls’ S.H.S., Ho, took a unanimous decision to establish the facility in question after a lengthy deliberation (parents of day students inclusive).
The House agreed the facility would help to shore up discipline in the school. These deliberations were duly captured in the minutes of the House (and copies of the minutes are available).
Subsequently, the P.T.A. of E.P.C. Mawuko Girls’ S.H.S. Ho sought approval from the Director General of the Ghana Education Service to charge a levy of five Ghana Cedis only per student to run the facility.
The Director General in his letter number GES/DG.105/V/96, dated August 31, 2015 gave his approval to our P.T.A. Secretariat to charge the fee and operate the facility.
In fact, what your reporter did not do as a responsible journalist was to find out if the facility served day students or not. Indeed, E.P.C. Mawuko Girls’ S.H.S. is a mission school run by the Evangelical Presbyterian Church for which reason we do not allow our students to wear unruly haircut.
Teachers and administrators do not seek to know the day/boarding status of a student before driving her to the barbering shop for a uniform haircut.
We place here on record that all students (day and boarder) benefit from the barbering shop.
The reporter’s claim that the Headmistress, Mrs Agnes Afesi-Afonu and the P.T.A. Secretary, Mr. Ebenezer Krakani gave conflicting reports was a mischievous intentional misrepresentation of the Headmistress and the P.T.A. Secretary.
We insist he misquoted and presented fragments of what the Headmistress and the P.T.A. Secretary had said and this he had done out of context. We thus challenge him to publish a full transcript of both interviews.
The fact that the Headmistress directed him to an officer in charge of a particular schedule does not mean she (Headmistress) knew not her job.
We wish to throw more light on the lie told by the reporter in paragraph eight of the news report which says:”…the amount was agreed upon at a meeting with parents of the students, but some of the parents The Ghanaian Times contacted, denied the claim” (emphasis is ours). If some parents denied the claim, what did some others say?
What was the reporter’s sample size for the interview? What sampling method did he use? Indeed if a parent/guardian denied knowledge of this agreement, then they were either irregular parents or they were those who would always sit outside the meeting venue after signing in as present. Indeed these two groups of passive parents/guardians would always raise a false alarm as this.
We are also at a loss why the reporter did not say which officer from the Volta Regional Directorate of Ghana Education Service he was quoting in his May 18 news story.
In fact, he never asked for any documentation, neither did he crosscheck his lies. He just wrote what he imagined about the school.
From the foregoing, it is clear that there was no newsworthy element in the reporter’s news story. It is also clear that he was rather, with such a publication, trying to brew trouble in the peaceful E.P.C. Mawuko Girls’ S.H.S.
What is rather clear is that the reporter, with such a news story, he was trying to serve the interest of some individuals whose intention has always been to vilify the bold step of E.P.C. Mawuko Girls’ S.H.S. to discipline students.
In fact, the establishment of this facility is a novelty and worthy of emulation. Indeed, journalists should be seen finding out and publishing how such good initiatives can be replicated in senior high schools nationwide. What we see instead is a selfish attempt targeted at vilifying a good initiative.
Corporation we knew has also subscribed now to the wayward editorial policy “Bad news sells”.
The reporter must be made aware that, his publication had the potential of causing disaffection among stakeholders and such is against the basic tenets and principles of journalism.
Our doors are open to all individuals, groups and organisations who are interested in knowing the truth about the operations of our barbering shop. Long live Mawuko, long live Ghana.
The School Management, E.P.C. Mawuko Girls’ S.H.S., Ho.