Executive Director, Child Rights International (CRI) Mr Bright Appiah, an NGO has commended President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo for pardoning eight female students of the Chiana Senior High School (SHS).
Mr Appiah said the President’s intervention was timely and appropriate in ensuring that the students were not denied their rights to education.
On Friday, November 11, 2022, a video of the second year female students of Chiana SHS in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region using vulgar language towards the President went viral on social media.
As a result, a Committee was established by the Governing Board of Chiana SHS to investigate the alleged viral video.
After series of investigations, the Committee’s report, copied to the leadership of the Ghana Education Service (GES) at the Headquarters, recommended the dismissal of the students.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr Appiah said the intervention of the President addressed two major issues, which were the nation’s investment in education and its policy environment.
‘Having free education to the Secondary School level, we have made investment in the lives of these children, and I do not think that the father of the nation will allow that investment to go waste,’’ he stated.
The Executive Director underscored the need for a framework for an alternative system of punishment that would lead to the reformation of children rather than victimising them, who would in turn influence other children negatively.
He condemned the act of the students and advised children to behave responsibly and be morally upright to be good citizens of the nation as they exercise their rights in a manner that conformed to the State’s principle on the development of children.
Mr Appiah noted that some parents had failed in bringing their children to a level that was expected, hence, the need for a strengthened state machinery to deal with some of the fallout issues that would ensure that before a child completed the school system, some positive changes would have been made.
‘‘So if children are behaving in that manner, we need to condemn it and make sure that we put them in a place that will let them be more responsible.
“So, as much as we condemn the act of the children, we think that the policy environment must also be strict enough to regulate the behavior of children provided it does not violate their fundamental human rights,’’ he added.
OccupyGhana, a pressure group, in a statement to the GNA noted that some suspension with mandatory counseling for the affected students would be more effective than dismissal.
Meanwhile, some members of the public who praised the President’s intervention called for severe punishments for the students.
Madam Janet Mensah, a parent acknowledged that the children did not do the right thing and appealed to the GES to consider making them repeat their class to serve as a deterrent to others.
Mr Emmanuel Kankam, a final year student of the Koforidua Senior High Technical School, urged students to desist from such acts since it was morally bad.