The Minority in Parliament has criticised the dismissal of eight students of the Chiana Senior High School by the Ghana Education Service (GES).
In a statement signed by ranking member on Parliament’s Education Committee, Peter Nortsu-Kotoe, the Minority described the decision as ‘harsh’ and ‘retrogressive’.
According to the Minority, even though the students who insulted President Akufo-Addo in a viral video acted out of order, their right to education should not be curtailed.
The statement said the right to education is guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution, hence the move by the GES must be reviewed.
“Whereas the Minority is against the misconduct of the eight students, and condemns same, we wish to state that the decision by the GES to dismiss them is harsh and retrogressive”, the statement emphasised.
The release from the Minority further disclosed that, “In this age and time when there is increased advocacy and renewed focus on increasing access to education, any decision that takes a child away from the classroom can only be seen as an absolute drawback to this renewed focus and objective.
It is therefore, regrettable to learn of the decision of the Ghana Education Service (GES) to dismiss the eight female students of the Chiana SHS in the Kassena Nankana West District of the Upper East region for insulting the President of the Republic some months ago”.
Having criticised the decision by the GES, the Minority went ahead to plead with the President to intervene in the matter.
“We are also by this statement, urging the GES to proffer an alternative but corrective punishment to the eight students.
This we believe would be in the best interest of our collective goal to ensuring that every Ghanaian child has access to formal education.
In conclusion, the Minority wishes to appeal to His Excellency the President, to use his good offices to pardon these students as he did in 2020 when a group of some students misconducted themselves towards him”, the statement ended.
Earlier, the Ghana Education Service (GES) dismissed eight students of the Chiana Senior High School in the Upper East Region for allegedly insulting President Akufo-Addo.
Prior to the dismissal, the students had been on suspension.
The GES says its investigation into the incident confirmed that the students used unsavoury language against the President in a viral video.
It thus described the actions of the students as “very undesirable, and contrary to the acceptable standards of the conduct generally required of any student in Ghana’s educational system”.
Prior to the dismissal of the students, the GES had earlier apologised to the President over the said conduct.
Meanhwile, reacting to the news of the dismissal, some Ghanaians have taken to social media to berate the GES over its decision.
According to the critics, the decision is simply untenable.
One of them is an advocate for children’s rights who is unenthused about the decision.
The Country Director of the International Child Development Programme, Joyce Larnyoh said the Ghana Education Service should employ more appropriate means of punishment other than dismissal.
Speaking on JoyNews’ News Desk, Mrs Larnyoh reiterated that no child should be denied the right to education no matter the circumstance.
Others have however backed the move; arguing that it will help instill discipline amongst students, especially at the Senior High School level.
The affected students have since apologised for their actions.
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