The Ghana Education Service, (GES) is determined to punish its staff who are caught to have engaged in sexual relations with female students at the basic and second cycle levels.
The Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh said, “GES is determined to evoke the severest of sanctions to serve as deterrence to staff in cases which would be established”.
He was responding to a question in parliament by Member of Parliament, (MP) for Amenfi West, Eric Afful regarding the causes of the high rate of sexual harassment at basic and Senior High Schools levels in the country and what the ministry’s preventive measures are.
So far, the Ministry has received a report on 26 cases of alleged sexual harassment in selected SHS nationwide.
Prominent amongst them is the Ejisuman SHS incident where some student were forced by their teachers to perform certain sexual acts on them. There have also been reports of headmasters and teachers sleeping with their female students.
But Dr Prempeh said investigations are underway in almost all of them by GES to ascertain the truth or otherwise of such reports.
He added that the Ministry has encouraged head teachers to intensify guidance and counseling sessions in their schools to give the students the confidence to report such cases to authorities for appropriate actions to be taken.
“It must be emphasised that the Ministry and GES condemn such conduct and specific provisions are in the code of conduct for the staff of GES.
"Some of the reports have been reviewed and final decisions pending before The GES Council for approval so that they could be enforced,” he said.
According to Dr. Prempeh, Parent Teacher Associations, (PTA) are also being sensitized for parents to guide their wards and encourage them to behave well in school and to have the confidence to report such cases.
“The National Teaching Council which is the professional regulatory body for teachers is also taking steps to ensure that teachers are up to their professional ethics in order to minimize such incidents,” he stated.
He is hopeful that these measures should see to the complete elimination of the unfortunate development.