Obuasi SHTS scandal: ‘GES official coached me to deny sexual assault story’

Obuasi SHTS scandal: ‘GES official coached me to deny sexual assault story’
Source: Ghana | Joy News| Manasseh Azure Awuni
Date: 11-10-2018 Time: 06:10:22:am
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The 17-year old girl who is a victim of an alleged sexual assault at Obuasi Senior High Technical School in the Ashanti region has revealed that an official of the Ghana Education Service coached her to deny that the teacher forcibly had sex with her. 

The 47-year old teacher and housemaster Seth Amponsah is being investigated by the GES after he denied the act. 

Seth Amponsah has admitted the girl swept his office and studied there at night. He also admitted buying food from town for the girl and intervening when a senior seized her phone. 

But he denies sexually assaulting her. Some teachers of the school, however, say sexual relationships between teachers and students of the school has become a ritual.

Below is the concluding part of Manasseh Azure Awuni’s story published yesterday:

In July 2018, a group of teachers of Obuasi Senior High Technical School, petitioned the Obuasi Municipal Chief Executive to intervene in getting the school authorities to act on the alleged sex scandal involving Mr. Seth Amponsah and other teachers of the school. The group, which is known as “Patriotic and Concerned Teachers of the Obuasi Senior High Technical School,” accused management of the school of trying to shield Mr. Amponsah and other teachers whose amorous relationship with the students had become a disturbing ritual.

According to the teachers, these relationships had resulted in indiscipline because teachers and seniors who could not punish the girlfriends of the teachers. They also alleged that some teachers gave examination questions to their girlfriends ahead of end of term examinations and the practice had undermined the credibility of examinations in the school.

In the petition the teachers said a male teacher of the school had died of HIV/Aids complication in the school. This they said, put the lives of the students they had sex with in danger of contracting the deadly virus.

“When it was revealed that the teacher had died of HIV/Aids complications, some of the male teachers were terrified because they often pass the girls around. If they realize a particular girl is vulnerable, they will take turns to sleep with her,” a teacher said.

The teachers’ allegation of cover appears founded.

Akua said when the case became public, she was summoned to a meeting in the residence of Mr. Yakubu Mambo, the Senior Housemaster of Obuasi Senior High Technical School. She said there were three men in the meeting: Mr. Yakubu Mambo, who first investigated the scandal; the headmaster of Complex Junior High School in Obuasi, Mr. Aaron Boafo and an officer from the Municipal office of the Ghana Education Service, Mr. David Baba Afuubi. 

Akua said she was first ask to narrate the incident. Mr. Aaron Boafo then asked her what she wanted done in this case. she said she wanted Mr. Seth Amponsah punished for sexually abusing her because he had done that to other girls.

“Mr. Mambo rebuked me and said it was only mine that was out,” Akua said. “He said I had no evidence that he had done that to any other girl so I should not bring any fresh problems.”

“They then told me if anybody asked me about the case, I should deny that Mr. Amponsah had sex with me,” she said. “They said I should say that Mr. was annoying me so I decided to frame him up with that story. He said the story would die and my education would not be affected if I did that.”

“Which of the three actually said this?”

“It was the official from the GES [David Baba Afuubi],” she said.

Akua’s father said he warned her daughter not to change her story, for it had consequences for her and the family. He said the headmaster and management of the school came to the house to tell him they wanted to see how they could help his daughter to proceed with her education. Before they came, the headmaster at the time, Mr. Andrews Kofi Sarkodie, had called to complain about my daughter.

“He said my daughter was involved in promiscuous lifestyles and if an issue which involved her another teacher was finalised, she would be punished,” the old man said. “But if my daughter is a bad girl and I send her to school, are the teachers supposed to help her become better or they are to make her worse?”

The Member of Parliament for Obuasi East Constituency, Dr. Patrick Boakye-Yiadom (MD), has described the scandal involving Akua and Mr. Amponsah as “a tip of the iceberg.” The MP, who is also an old student Obuasi Senior High Technical School, has taken a special interest in the matter and says he is committed to seeing that order was restored in the school.

He said when his attention was drawn to the case, he personally interacted with sources close to the school had it appeared the sexual relationship between teachers the teenage girls was widespread. He said he was the one who reported the case to the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI), the MCE and other interest groups of the schools. The headmaster, Mr. Sarkodie, was not happy he told other stakeholders about the scandal.

When contacted, Mr. Sarkodie, denied allegations that he tried to cover up. He said after Mr. Amponsah met the disciplinary committee on the matter, he wrote a report to high authorities. He said the teachers who accused him of trying to cover up were ignorant of the processes adding that he did not have to tell them what management was doing about the case once he wrote to his superiors.

Mr. Seth Amponsah has been relieved of some of the positions he occupied in the school. A new headmaster has taken over from Mr. Sarkodie, who is on retirement after attaining 60. The current headmaster, Mr. Kwabena Sarpong, would not comment on the matter, saying the Regional GES was handling it. The Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana Education Service has confirmed the case is under investigation by her outfit. She said there would not be a cover up.

“I am a woman. If someone does that to my daughter, I will not be happy so I will not cover up when someone’s daughter is involved,” Mary Owusu Achiaw, said at her office in Kumasi.

The disciplinary committee investigating the matter has met twice. Mr. Seth Amponsah, according to sources present at the meeting, denied ever sleeping with Akua. He also denied ever admitting to the management of the school that he had slept with the girl.

“We were so embarrassed,” a member of the school’s management said. “His lawyer asked us whether we recorded his confession or asked him to write a statement after he confessed. And we said no. We didn’t know he would ever deny.”

Akua did not write some of the papers in the third term examinations. After the scandal, she could not concentrate in school. She became the subject of gossip and finger-pointing among her peers. But she was promoted to Form Two.

“Even though I did not write the examination, the school authorities wanted to do something to encourage me to be in school. That’s why they promoted me,” she explained.

But it did not work. She said she could not bring herself to go to that same school. Her father, who is on retirement, said that would pose a financial challenges to the family, which he could not bear. It would mean paying a new admission fee, and incurring other expenditure all over again to make her comfortable in her new school. That would be too much for him to bear.

For Dr. Patrick Boakye-Yiadom, this scandal should not end with Mr. Amponsah and Akua. He said he would rally other old students and interest groups of the school to clean the mess in the school and safeguard the future of the school, which has a population of nearly 4000 students. 

JoyNews’ Manasseh Azure Awuni has spent weeks speaking to persons involved in the story or connected to it. The information contained in this story is from sources, even where it is not expressly stated. The narration is based on multiple interviews he conducted and anonymous sources that spoke with him as well as his own observatio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                READ PART ONE OF THE OBUASI SHTS SEX SCANDAL: Accused husband, worried wife: Sex scandal and HIV/Aids scare hit Obuasi school

 


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