An Education Advocacy group, Africa Education Watch, is urging the Ghana Education Service (GES), to take a second look at de-boardinisation as a form of punishment for boarding students and adopt progressive sanctions that actually reform offending students.
The call comes after management of Ejisuman SHS expelled seven of its female students from boarding school for social media misconduct.
The six students were de-boardinised over the use of “unauthorised gadgets, this time, a mobile phone to dent the image of the school, intentionally uploading a video on social media where unprintable words that border on sex were spewed out and for damaging the image of the school which is recovering from a 2017 scandal”.
The students videoed themselves while in their school uniform.
But a statement signed by the Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare said in as much as it is important to sanction students when they breach the of code of conduct in school as a way of instilling discipline and deterring others, the GES must not lose sight of the fact that, most of these decisions may be arbitrary, archaic and contradictory.
The statement said Ghanaian children have the right to education duly captured in the law. At the continental level, the Right to Education is enshrined in Article 17 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights which states that “every individual shall have the right to education.
The statement explains that the GES has a mandate to groom students to become literates, numerates and responsible adults.
Therefore in fulfilling this mandate, secondary schools have the responsibility to teach, mentor and discipline students when they break school rules. The statement adds that it is heart-warming that the GES now has a positive discipline policy. However, the use of de-boardinization as a tool for positive discipline has far outlived its relevance.
The statement adds that punishing girls by sacking them from boarding school only place them in hostels without any parental or school control, while exposing them to further delinquency and harm from society.
The statement is therefore calling for public discourse by all stakeholders, especially Parent Teacher Associations and the media on this matter.