Tuesday, February 9, 2016

GES Director Wages "War" On Abusive Male Teachers

Alhaji Mohammed Haroon Cambodia

The Northern Regional Director of Education, Alhaji Mohammed Haroon Cambodia has declared "war" against the continuous indiscipline and act of sexual assaults against some primary and junior high school girls by some teachers in the region. The situation is said to be worst in the Senior High Schools with some teachers openly dating female students under the guise of using them for domestic or household chores. 

The teacher-pupils sexual relationship according to the Regional Director of Education was becoming more rampant in most of the schools in the Northern Region with some of them resulting in unwanted pregnancies, complicated abortions and withdrawal of such girls from school for early marriages by some of those teachers.

Speaking in an interview with Savannahnews in Tamale in response to a pending court case involving two primary school teachers who were arrested for defiling 09 primary school girls and impregnating one other in the same school, Alhaji Haroon Cambodia described it as an “abhorrent act” for any teacher entrusted with the responsibility of shaping the future of young people to abuse their rights or engage them in sexual misconducts. 

According to him, it was very common these days to see teachers impregnating innocent girls even at the primary level and that some of the girls were between the ages of 12 and 15 who barely understood what sex was about. 

Alhaji Haroon Cambodia who is one of the pioneers for the promotion of Girl child education in Northern Ghana emphasized that he would not tolerate the increasing school based gender violence and high level of indiscipline among some teachers in the region, which also impacted negatively on the performance of the students.

“This gender violence is meted out to the children especially the females by the male teachers. When a teacher approaches a girl in a class for sexual favours and the girl refuses, the teacher turns to hate the girl and starts to punish her at the least provocation. For instance if the teacher is caning the whole class and he is giving each student maybe two strokes of the cane he intensifies the weight of the cane and he can even give that girl five strokes instead of the two. Others also set difficult questions in class and mention the name of a particular girl to answer and if the girl is unable to answer then that is an opportunity for the teacher to punish the girl for refusing him the sex. This is just to ensure that the girl yields to his demand for sex and we must condemn this kind of behaviour”.

The Northern Regional Director of Education who is fuming with rage with the kind of embarrassment being caused and the disgrace being associated with the teaching profession by some few miscreants, said that he would personally ensure that ay teacher who indulge in such sexual misconduct and unnecessary abuse of girls in school was punished or face the full rigours of the law.

He encouraged all school girls who fall victims to the bad sexual behaviours of teachers to report them to their parents or District Directors of Education for immediate arrest and prosecution. He asserted that some headteachers were also not to be trusted because they sometimes collude with those teachers perpetuating the indiscipline acts in school. 

Meanwhile, the Police in the Northern Region last month [December 2015] arrested a primary school teacher for impregnating his 14-year-old pupil. The suspect, David Ananga, a former teacher of the Evangelical Presbyterian Primary school in Tamale is said to have also defiled 9 other girls during school hours.

He purportedly secretly forced the 14 year old girl who was over 4 months pregnant to abort the pregnancy resulting in some complications.

The teacher reportedly went into hiding after the incident but the police picked him up from his hiding place. 
He now faces two charges of defilement and unlawful abortion, while his accomplice, Frederick Akoto also a teacher at the same school has been charged with permitting defilement on his premises.

The Northern Regional Coordinator of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit, ASP Emmanuel Holortu said the two suspects are not alone in the crime but also the school authority and the doctor who administered the abortion are all under investigations.

When Savannahnews visited the little girl she was in serious agony and was still bleeding as a result of the abortion. She was found discharging some liquid fluid from her breast.

Alhaji Haroon Cambodia could not comprehend why a teacher who was gainfully working and receiving salary could not find one of the numerous beautiful ladies looking for husbands and marry, but would rather ruin the future of innocent girls who were still in school.

“I will like all the teachers who are involved in such acts but not yet exposed to stop it or I will pray that they are exposed, arrested and prosecuted, because their place is not in the community or society but their place is in the prison”. 

He was optimistic that the arrest and prosecution of David Ananga and Fredrick Akoto would serve as deterrent to other indisciplined teachers in the Northern Region and Ghana as a whole.

According to Alhaji Haroon Cambodia the Ghana Education Service and for that matter the government had gone a long way in ensuring the enrollment of girls into the classrooms, so therefore it would be unacceptable for any teacher to try to derail the effort and jeopardize with the future of such girls.

He said that the outcome of the independent investigations by the Tamale Metropolitan Directorate of the GES had been studied and forwarded to the Director General of the Ghana Education Service for the necessary advice or sanctions against the two arrested teachers in line with the GES’s code of conduct.

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