President Akuffo Addo and his Vice, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia have been criticised for engaging Senior High School (SHS) students during their recent campaign tours which is said to be against the Code of Ethics of the Ghana Education Service (GES).
Mr Kwami Alorvi, a former National President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) in a statement issued on November 24,2020, criticised the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Presidential Hopeful and his deputy, the Minister for Education and the GhananEducation Service for allegedly farseeing the NPP to go against the Code of Ethics.
The Campaign Tour
According to Alorvi, on Monday 23rd November 2020, the Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, during his political campaign tours visited the Yendi Senior High School.
H added, that, the next news item showed the President of the Republic himself, H. E. Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo, on the Campus of Aburi Girls Senior High School, also doing political campaigning among students.
”Aburi Girls SHS gate and campus were adorned with NPP colours and paraphernalia. What’s happening to our education system under Hon. Matthew Opoku Prempeh and President Nana Addo?” He asked.
”Where is Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa and his GES Management? And where are Mr. Michael Nsowah and his Governing Council members? Why are the Headmaster of Yendi Senior High School and Headmistress of Aburi Girls Senior High School still at post?” He inquired.
”I ask this question not because I don’t appreciate the magnitude of the challenge that my two colleague Heads were confronted with for not being able to stand against the President and his Vice engaging in political campaigning in their schools in violation of the GES rules. I ask the question in the spirit of fairness.” He said.
Check This Out: GES under pressure as Newly Trained Teachers threaten with ‘NO POSTING NO VOTE’ Campaign
Code of Conduct and Politics in Schools
One important document that guides the conduct of managers and workers of our education system is the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct hereafter referred to as The Code.
The Code is a set of codified rules and norms that guide workers in the Ghana Education Service including those in Administration. It aims at ensuring high standard of professionalism, competence and fairness in our schools. The Code does not thus only constitute restraint on the “freedom” of operators in the education sector but equally ensures that conditions for effective teaching and learning are created, maintained and enforced in schools in order to inspire public confidence in teachers and school administrators.
Clause 31 of the Code deals with *Employee and Politics.*
31 (ii) in part states *” No employee shall engage in any activities which are likely to to involve him in political controversy.”*
Simply put politics is not allowed in our schools under any form or circumstance. It is the responsibility of the Sector Minister to ensure that the Ghana Education Service and its Governing Council enforce this rule in a fair and unbiased manner. It is however, becoming clear that the Minister of Education Hon. Matthew Opoku Prempeh and the President of the Republic are not willing to demonstrate fairness.
Check This Out: Continuous Professional Development Allowances paid Teachers not a free Money – NAPO
Precedence in TEMPANE SHS
Kwami Alorvi added, that in October 2018, the Headmaster of Tempane Senior High School in the Upper East Region, Mr. Dominic Amoale Ndego was swiftly interdicted by the GES.
”His offence was “allowing” the then NDC National Organizer Aspirant, Capt. Joshua Hamidu Akamba, to interact with students as he passed through the school on his campaign tour in the run-up to the NDC’s National primaries. The Headmaster was not present in the School when Capt. Akamba passed through, yet he was blamed for granting him access.”
”Both the Director-General of the GES Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa and Council Chairman Mr. Michael Nsowah were loud and cacophonous on national radio and television condemning political campaigning in schools.”
”Both officials vowed to the nation that GES would enforce the ban on political activities in Basic and Senior High Schools in the country. So what has changed? Is the enforcement selective and applying only to the NDC? In fact it took the students of Mr. Dominic Amoale Ndego to stage a hunger strike protest to have their Headmaster reinstated.” He said.
Beginning of Lawlessness in Schools
Kwami Alorvi indicated that there were instances where there were issues of lawlessness i the public pre-tertiary institutions.
i. Free SHS Ambassador
Kwami indicated, that In 2018 the Ministry of Education appointed a Free SHS Ambassador in the person of Rahim Banda and on 18th June 2020, commissioned and equipped him with a branded new Pick-up vehicle to tour the Senior High Schools.
”When news broke out about Rahim Banda doing political campaigning in the schools for the NPP, the GES issued a face-saving statement that it was going to investigate the matter. ”
”Many days have since passed and Ghanaians are still waiting for the report of that investigation. What was the GES going to investigate about Rahim Banda anyway when it partnered the Ministry in giving out the GETFund funded pick-up to him to campaign for the ruling government?” He asked.
ii. General Secretary of NPP
He added, that even when the Ministry of Education and the GES barred parents from visiting their wards in the Senior High Schools during the partial reopening of schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the NPP General Secretary John Boadu was granted unimpeded access to the Senior High Schools during the voters registration exercise to share food and drinks to students and engage in a political campaign.
iii. NPP National Youth Organizer
”The National Youth Organizer of the NPP Henry Nana Boakye was also spotted in Kumasi Anglican School and some other Senior High Schools in Kumasi campaigning among students. ”
”Henry Nana Boakye was even seen in Nursing Colleges in 2016 campaigning. NDC never sanctioned the Principals of those colleges as done to Tempane SHS Headmaster in 2018.’He said.
”In all the above instances of clear violations of the Code of Conduct, GES and the Ministry of Education looked on unconcerned. And now the President of the Republic himself and his Vice is seen in two separate Senior High Schools in the Eastern and Northern Regions respectively, engaging in political campaigns.”
”This lawlessness is unfortunate. Will the Heads of those schools grant John Mahama and Prof. Naana Jane Opoku Agyeman, access to their students for political campaign? I guess No, because they will be sacked if they dare. There lies the political controversy spelt out in the Code.” He said.