Editorial: GES must investigate and deal with saboteurs 

The Ghana Education Service (GES) has interdicted eleven Senior High School headmasters across the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Bono regions. According to the GES, they have been interdicted for allegedly charging unauthorised fees from Form 1 students.

The GES accused the headmasters of charging students various unapproved fees, including house dues, books, calculators, admission process fees and charges for the printing of slips, files and hymn books.

The GES letter, dated December 6th, 2023 cited this action as a violation of the school’s code of conduct. These interdictions underscore the GES’s commitment to upholding transparency and ethical conduct within the education system, ensuring that students and their families are not subjected to unauthorised financial burdens during their academic pursuits.

Investigations into the actions of the interdicted headmasters will determine the extent of unauthorised fees charged and the necessary corrective measures.

The Chronicle is appalled about the allegations leveled against the headmasters, and we hold the view that the perpetrators must not go scot-free when found culpable.

We are happy that the GES says it has initiated comprehensive investigations into the conduct of these headmasters. This investigation must be thorough and should not suffer delay. Its outcome must also be made public.

Often times, such issues gain public attention in the initial stages, but nothing is heard of them after some time.

It is the education sector that we are talking about here, where children are supposed to be trained to become responsible and honest adults for the good of society and the nation as a whole.

We are sitting on a time bomb if the headmasters, who are supervising the nurturing of these students, welcome them as fresh students with illegal transactions. These are adults who can read and write, and would not find it difficult to know that what the school did was wrong, but they may not have the courage to say it.

The danger is that these actions will be registered on their minds and some may replicate them in future when they get the opportunity, especially when no proper action is taken against the wrongdoers.

At a time when the government is progressively working towards making education affordable to all, by introducing free SHS and recently the Harmonised Prospectus, it is a sabotage, or act of dream killing, for any headmasters to charge unapproved fees.

Unfortunately, it is the politicians who suffer the brunt of these illegal actions if they are not brought to light. Citizens would continue to have little or no faith in the policies of the government of the day, due to the selfish interests of a select few who are at the helm of affairs.

See what is happening at the port, even after the introduction of the paperless system.

Reports indicate how some officials frustrate importers and also obstruct the implementation of the policy because someone may not have the usual kickbacks, so the policy must not work.

However, with the benefit of natural justice and its principle of audi alteram partem, it is our hope that the GES will offer them ample opportunity to hear their side.

The GES should not hide the outcome of the investigation, especially when they announced the interdiction and mentioned the names of the affected headmasters.

It is just fair that the public is told their reasons for charging unapproved fees, whether sound or not. Who knows, it may unearth some loopholes in the system, hindering the progress of education under the free SHS, which could form the basis for a national conversation to find a solution to the problem.

We do not have to come next academic year with this same issue.


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