Supreme Court sets May 14 for ruling

The Supreme Court has fixed Thursday, May 14, 2015, for ruling on the legal suit brought before it by the Progressive Peo-ple’s Party against the govern-ment, for failing to implement the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education.

Ruling was scheduled for yesterday, but the seven-member panel could not sit, because one of the judges was bereaved.

Per the rules, the Supreme Court does not sit when any member of the panel is absent.

The plaintiffs, including Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, the flag-bearer of the PPP, Kofi Asamao-Siaw, National Sceretary, Mr. Brew Hammond, National Chairman, were informed of the sad news and subsequent adjournment of the case, which has been pending since 2014.

According to the plaintiffs, the government had reneged on the implementation of a basic educational right, as enjoined by the 1992 Constitution.

It is their contention that commencing January 7, 1993 to January 6, 2005 the government ought to provide every Ghanaian child of school going age free, compulsory and universal education.

A statement of case accompanied by a number of reliefs, prayed the court to declare that upon true and proper interpretation of articles 25(1) (a) and 38 (2) of the 1992 Constitution, Government of Ghana had only 12 years, between January 7, 1993 and January 6, 2005 to deliver Ghanaian children of school going age, free, compulsory and universal basic education and that the Government had failed to discharge the said constitutional duty imposed on her by Ghanaians.

It further urged the court to declare that on true and proper interpretation of articles 14 (1) (e), 25(1) (a) and 38 (2) of the 1992 Constitution, the Government had a constitutional duty to compel children of school going age in Ghana who refuse or fail to be at school and that the government’s failure to implement same amounts to omission which is inconsistent with the Constitution.

It also impressed on the court to coerce the government to amend section 2(6) of the Education Act and make it mandatory, instead of permissive and empowering.

The statement of case, read in parts said there are about 300,000 children still out of school, owing to the government’s failure to enrol them.

It said the failure had landed children in illegal activities and menial jobs such as street begging, fishing, forced labour on cocoa farms and diving on the high seas.

“This failure on the part of the government has culminated in mass head porters (Kayaye), street children, children in fishing, begging, on cocoa farms and on the high seas, inter alia. The kingdom we envision for our children is endangered by the Government of Ghana’s inaction of compelling these children to be at school, by failure to provide free basic education where they must be, in order to count our collective future safe and sound,” it said.

It said by the government’s own progarmme in March 1996 titled, “Republic of Ghana: The Programme for Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education by the year 2005, basic education from stage one through to basic nine must be compulsory.

By Malik Sullemana  

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