Tempane SHS controversy: GES justifies ban on partisan politics in high schools

Tempane SHS controversy: GES justifies ban on partisan politics in high schools
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | George Nyavor | george.nyavor@myjoyonline.com
Date: 08-10-2018 Time: 07:10:04:pm
Joshua Akamba allegedly engaged students of Tempane SHS recently against the code of conduct of GES

The GES has justified the stiff implementation of an existing directive that bans partisan politics in second cycle institutions across the country.

The move by the GES comes on the back of allegations that the headmaster of Tempane Senior High School in the Upper East Region, allowed a political activist, Joshua Akamba, to address students on the school’s campus.

Mr Dominic Ndegu Amolale, the Headmaster of Tempane SHS, has since been suspended.

According to the GES, the suspension is to make way for investigations into claims that he allowed Mr Akamba, a National Organiser hopeful of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), access to students.

“Management of GES condemns such acts and wishes to bring to the attention of the general public, especially, all political activists that the Ghana Education Service is a non-political state agency with the key responsibility of implementing pre-tertiary educational policy of the country and wishes to remain as such.

“Meanwhile, all Regional and District Directors of Education and Heads of SHS have been directed to ensure that all school campuses and students are not used for political activities without authorization,” the GES’ statement, signed by Head of Public Relations, Cassandra Twum Ampofo, said.

Meanwhile, former President John Mahama has condemned the GES for suspending Mr Amolale, describing the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) as intolerant of dissenting political views.

The former President holds the view that “The schools have children who are 18 years and above and they voted in our time in office.”

Long-standing directive

Justifying the intensification of the anti-partisan politics at senior high schools, Director-General of GES, Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa, said the education service has only sought to intensify a directive that is expressly stated in the code of conduct of teachers in light of the recent incident at Tempane SHS.

Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa

Image: Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa

“The constitution of the country enjoins anyone who wants to be part of any association or group to do so but at the same time, we also have rules and regulations where we find ourselves. When you come into the public service generally, we all know that if you are a public servant, for example, and want to do politics, at a point you have to resign your position.

“In our offices in the public service, which GES is part, irrespective of our political leanings or colouration or interest, we are not supposed to be doing politics in our classrooms or our offices,” he said on Top Story on Joy FM, on Monday.

He said senior high schools are meant for teaching and learning hence all activities must feed into these two key objectives.

Misdirected attack

Commenting on the controversy on Top Story, Vice President of National Graduate Teachers Association (NAGRAT), Jacob Anaba, told show host, Evans Mensah, that the release from the GES attacked the politician unjustly.

“If you look at the directive carefully, it is attacking the substance of the alleged statement made by the politician more than what the code says. Because the directive could have even quoted part of the code of conduct to back its powers,” he said.

Mr Anaba says the NAGRAT has also launched its own investigations into the incident, urging the GES to listen to the suspended headmaster before taking any final action.



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