Editorial

 Check schools that violate GES policies

 On Monday, the Ghanaian Times published a story about the dismissal of a 14-year-old junior high school (JHS) student of Southlane Lake View School, a private institu­tion at Kasoa-Hideout in the Ga South Municipality of the Greater Accra Region, for being pregnant.

Here was a girl who had initially been denied registration for the upcoming Basic Edu­cation Certificate Examination (BECE) but registered following persistent persuasion, yet refused school attendance.

How was she going to learn without a teacher’s guidance to pass the BECE?

The Ghanaian Times commends the Girl Education Coordinator of the Ga South Municipality, Ms Florence Antwi-Boasiako, for taking up the matter after this paper made her aware of the issue.

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Today, the pregnant girl is back in school to the joy of all those who were worried about her situation, particularly her grandmother.

The Ghanaian Times considers a letter of apology addressed to the pregnant child, signed by the headmaster of the school, Bortei Shadrach Borketey, as an after-thought and preposterous in view of the earlier stance of the school that the pregnant girl could not be allowed to study in the same classroom as her mates for some reasons.

Such reasons are flimsy because the very move of dismissing her violates Ghana Education Service (GES) policy on such a matter.

According to the GES, girls who mistakenly get pregnant (such as the case of the 14-year-old girl in question who is alleged to have been defiled by a 50-year-old man) are allowed to attend school, unless doc­tors have advised that they stay out of school due to medical reasons.

It appears the authorities of Southlane Lake View School either do not know the GES pol­icies regulating certain matters in basic education cycles or decided to do their own thing, damning the consequence.

The latter reason cannot be dismissed, looking at the peremptory stance of the proprietress of the school, Kate Otchere, shown in her refusal to accept any pleadings, all because a friend to the pregnant girl’s grandmother had warned her against her decision to deny the girl the chance to continue her education, especially when the BECE was few months away.

It is clear the authorities of Southlane Lake View School are nativists, who believe that important elements of under­standing the world are innate and do not necessarily need to be learned from experience.

Such a mentality can impute even young people, including basic school children, with the wisdom to know better in all situations.

It is good to hear that the girl and her family are happy now that the girl is back in school but this paper thinks that is not enough.

The girl’s family and the Ga South Municipal Education Directorate should monitor how the poor girl is treated in the school.

Some people’s future has been jeopardised because of the neg­ative attitude of certain teachers and schools.

For instance, some could not complete school because of unjustifiable treatments like dismissals and embarrassing slow learners instead of doing reme­dial teaching for them.

GES officials should be con­cerned with such matters once they come to their attention, and that is to say the public must not ignore the ill-treatment of vulnerable school children but report them for the appropriate action to be taken.

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