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Opinions of Monday, 12 April 2010

Columnist: Awuni, Manasseh Azure

Great Lamptey Mills School is Licensed By G.E.S. To Defile

Our elders say he who does not punish evil commands it to be done. It is therefore safe to say that the Ghana Education Service has given the Great Lamptey Mills School the license to sexually abuse children of the school. Not long ago, the director of the school was dragged to court by parents of one of his students he had impregnated and shirked the responsibility of taking care of her after her delivery. What first started as a family issue finally found its way to court when all attempts to get Mr. Enoch Nii Lamptey Mills to do what he had promised to do failed. Finally, the matter was again meant to be resolved at home. The man was cleared by the court but this did not go down well with people who knew what was right.

Children’s rights groups, human rights activists (including Nana Oye Lithur) expressed concerns over the manner in which the case was handled. The Ghana Education Service, for the first time since the scandal made headlines, spoke very strongly. They promised the whole world to go into the matter because a lot of issues had come to the fore in the wake of the story. We all expected them to do the right thing. If the head of an educational institution is culpable in moral decadence, then one would expect the GES to revoke the license of that school. After all, if mother crab is crawling and baby crabs are also crawling, who would teach whom how to walk? The issue died when other important issues took over front pages of the newspapers and headlines of news bulletins.

Then recently, a 26 year-old music teacher of the school, Gideon Nana Ofei Dodoo, has been arrested for defiling a nine year old girl of the school. Nine years! The mother of the girl, accoriding to the Daily Graphic report, has said the school authorities wanted to “kill” the case between the school and the victim’s family. But she declined and reported to the police. As to what will become of the current sex scandal, only the ageless old Man above the azure skies can tell. In Ghana, everything is possible.

But what will the GES do afterwards? Are they going to give their blessing to suchlike behaviours by keeping quiet when the media forget about it? In the first instance, there was evidence enough for the GE S to take action. What is legally wrong may not be morally right.

If the GES doesn’t become tough on such offenders, it will invariably be giving its blessings to continuous abuse of children by such unscrupulous school authorities. This will be a damaging precedent, when posterity counts python eaters, the Ghana Education Service will be the No. 1 culprit. After all, education without morality is worse than stark illiteracy. Let those who have ears listen.

Manasseh Azure Awuni [www.maxighana.com] email: azureachebe2@yahoo.com The writer is the SRC President of the Ghana Institute of Journalism and Press and Information Secretary of the Northern Students’ Union (NSU). To read more of his works, visit: www.maxighana.com