From Thomas Agbenyegah Adze, Kumasi
The Ashanti Regional Director of the National Youth Authority (NYA), Mr. George Orwell Amponsah, has strongly recommended to the Ghana Education Service (GES), the Ministry of Education and all youth focused organisations to have a second look and critical scrutiny at the calibre of people appointed as heads of schools.
The move, he noted, would help promote healthy school cultures and environments that can safeguard the future prospects of our young people.
He said the sexual harassment of female girls in our schools calls for the protection of the young girls, who have become sexual dolls to some unscrupulous and few shameless teachers.
Mr. Amponsah said Ghana has made remarkable strides on girl child education, and such unprofessional conduct by some teachers only derail the achievements made so far, and called on the law enforcement agencies and the GES to enforce the laws on sexual harassment by a few perverted persons, including teachers.
The Regional Director said leadership is everything, and the lack of it is the cause of this condemnable act, and charged school heads to play a critical role in curbing this unhealthy amorous behaviour in our schools.
Mr. Amponsah made these suggestions when he addressed an advocacy dialogue forum on ‘Sexual And Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and Sexual Violence in Schools’, organized by the NYA in collaboration with the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), last Wednesday at the Ramseyer Presbyterian Church auditorium at Adum in Kumasi.
The Director said although social media and new technologies now play vital roles in fighting sexual violence in schools, the same tool also presents many challenges if not properly used, and called on stakeholders to find common grounds through which “we can inform our wards to be conscious of the good and bad of social media and new technologies.”
Mr. Amponsah said the absence of professional counselors in most of our schools, where teachers and heads of schools usually assume this role, is in itself a major hindrance in the fight against sexual violence.
An official of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mr. Samuel Asante Yeboah, in a power point presentation, explained that it is legally wrong for anybody to mediate in sexual violence or rape offences at home, in the church, or at the chief’s palace, emphasising that the mediator is equally as guilty as the perpetrator.
Mr. Asante Yeboah explained that sexual violent crimes are mostly committed by people who are close to the victims, and mentioned relatives, friends, uncles, ex-boyfriends and neighbours among others.
He called for sex education to teach skills to prevent sexual violence, provision of social norms that protect against sexual violence, creation of protective environments to improve safety and monitoring in schools, and support for victims or survivors, and treatment of same.
The Chairman of the session, Nana Ankomah Yeboah, who is also the head of the Juaben Busummuru Division of the Juaben Traditional Council and former Guidance and Counselor of the GES, admonished the youth to consider certain critical questions before they engage in any sexual act.