The Ghana Education Service (GES) has warned that teachers who sexually molest children in schools will not be spared.
A Regional Multi-sectoral Committee meeting on child protection in Accra last Thursday, warned that teachers who would flout the laws by abusing children sexually or physically; would face justice in the law court.
An officer at the Greater Accra Regional Education Office of the GES, Madam Gertrude Simpi-Amuzu, who made the statement, said the GES would from this month send letters to educational institutions in all the districts of the region, to caution teachers who by one way or the other, manoeuvre to get pupils and students to fall victim to their sexual appeals.
One of the areas of intervention for the Department of Children is child protection, where the department ensures the safety of children from child and sexual abuse, child trafficking, domestic violence, child prostitution and ritual servitude, among others.
The meeting, attended by representatives of the GES, Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Ghana Prisons Service, the Droolly Special School, and New Generation for Africa Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, the Department of Women, and the Department of Children, was in line with this objective.
The meeting also discussed the directive by the GES to schools on the use of canes, as a symbol of discipline in schools to cut the abuse children suffered in schools.
Inspector Michael Akuffo Asante of the DOVVSU stated that some parents put fear in their children when they (the children) reported any abuse they suffered from elderly people in society.
This, he said, kept many children from reporting such abuses they suffered to their parents.
He, therefore, advised all parents to rather stand in for their children, as a source of encouragement to them and cautioned parents who liked to settle sexual offences at home by taking money from the offenders to put a stop to it, since it constituted an offence.
Children who are abused, he said, should preserve their bodies and under wears for further investigations by the police.
In his presentation, Mr Peter Akyea, the Greater Accra Regional Director of the Department of Children of the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, noted that the participation of children in issues that concerned their welfare would help in their development.
He also said children were very vulnerable, thus it was important to protect them from all forms of abuses, and entreated all who educated children on their rights to also lay emphasis on their responsibilities as well, to make them responsible adults in future.
The Director of Programmes of the New Generation for Africa Foundation, Mrs Susanna A. Mahama, urged the GES to attach importance to the work of the counseling departments of various senior high schools in the country to make them more effective.
The participants in the meeting agreed that the unavailability of counsellors in the schools had also led to the breakdown of the counselling departments and, therefore, advised the GES to extend the counselling departments in the SHS to the basic school level to ensure that all schoolchildren enjoy equal rights and protection from abuse.