DG of GES commiserates with Saboba bereaved families – Investigation begins!

By Joyce Kantam Kolamong

The Director General of Ghana Education Service, GES Professor Kwasi Opoku Amankwah, says it is against the Code of Conduct of Ghana Education Service, for schools and teachers to use school pupils as a source of labour.

According to him, the practice must be stopped, therefore whoever goes against it will be punished severely.

Dr. Opoku Amankwah said this when he and his team joined a Memorial Service for victims of the Saboba disaster at the St Charles Lwanga Catholic Church.

His visit was to commiserate with bereaved families of the nine young men who lost their lives in a canoe disaster on Friday, November 12, 2021.

Memorial Service

Joyce Kantam Kolamong reports that the bereaved families of the deceased persons and survivors of the disaster were at a Memorial service to remember the dead.

The bereaved families were dressed in mourning clothes.

The Memorial Service was held in honour of the victims and to pray for their departed souls. The solemn service saw family members holding back their tears as the ceremony progressed.

GES Probe

The Director General of GES, Professor Opoku Amankwah, expressed his condolences to the bereaved families. He said the Code of Conduct clearly indicates improper use of school children as labour stressing that it is a form of child labour.

“The Committee will be put in place to investigate the incident and apply sanctions accordingly”, he disclosed.

The Deputy Minister of Education, John Ntim Fordjour, said last Friday’s incident is a national one hence a national response is needed. He indicated his Ministry’s resolve to strengthen and enhance Monitoring and Supervision.

He also promised to transform education outcomes in the district. The Minister later presented a cash amount of GHC2000 each to the bereaved families.

An elder of one of the bereaved families, Jesse Ngulbi, who spoke on behalf of the bereaved families, expressed gratitude to the Ministry and the team for their support.

He said the families were having a difficult time coping with the loss.

He appealed to lessen the Head Teacher’s punishment since it was not his intention to harm the children.

CHBs & GNAT support

The Conference of Heads of Basic Schools, and the Ghana National Association of Teachers also donated a cash package each to the families.

Saboba Chief distraught, calls for cracking whip.

Earlier, the team paid a courtesy call on the Paramount Chief of Saboba, Mateer John Bowan, who was so much concerned with the fallen standards of education in the district.

He said the abysmal performance of schools in the BECE is a cause for concern and called on the GES to overhaul the District Education Directorate to bring sanity to education in the area.

The DG was accompanied by the Deputy Minister of Education, John Ntim Fordjour, the Regional Director of Education, Dr. Petter Attafuah, the Northern Regional Police Commander, COP Timothy Bonga, the Regional Police Crime Officer, Superintendent Bernard Baba Ananga as well as other officials from the Education Directorate.

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