Accra, Nov. 16,GNA-The Ministry of Education has directed the Ghana Education Service to ensure that no teacher engages pupils on his or her farm and other forms of child labour.
The Deputy Minister of Education, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, who gave the directive, was not happy that teachers who had been tasked to teach pupils rather engage them in other activities contrary to their mandate which usually lead to dire consequences.
Rev. Ntim Fordjour gave the directive on Monday when he led a team of the Government delegation to commensurate with the families of the nine students who got drowned last Friday while crossing the Oti river after they had been sent to work on the farm of their Headmaster.
Other members of the delegation were the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service, Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa, the Northern Regional Police Commander, COP Timothy Yoosa Bonga, Regional Director of Education, Dr Peter Attafuah and a team of Clinical Physiologists and counsellors among others.
The Deputy Minister said the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the entire Ghanaian populace were saddened by the news of the death of the students.
He assured the families and the people of Saboba of Government’s readiness to ensure that the practice of engaging pupils on farms which was very high in the area, would cease.
Rev. Ntim Fordjour charged people in leadership positions to desist from pleading for teachers caught indulging in such nefarious acts and allow the laws of the land to deal with them.
The Deputy Minister said the government was ready to support the bereaved families hence the introduction of the Clinical Physiologists and counsellors who would stay in the community for a couple of weeks.
He was upbeat that, the right stringent measures would be put in place to curb all forms of abuses against pupils and students at all levels of education in the country.
The Director-General of the Ghana Education Service, Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa, said the GES had since interdicted the Headmaster of the school following the Code of Conduct of the Service whiles waiting for the Police to conclude investigation into the case.
He warned all teachers who had the habit of engaging school children in any form of child labour to stop before being caught by the long arm of the law.
Last Friday, around 3 pm, 32 school children who were returning from the farm of the Headmaster of the St. Charles JHS, at Saboba in the Northern Region got drowned when two of the boats carrying them capsized.
Out of the 31 children, 22 of them were able to swim across the river while the remaining nine got drowned.
This led to the arrest of the Headmaster, Mr Charles Chinji, who has since been remanded into police custody pending further investigation and prosecution.
The Tamale Circuit Court yesterday remanded the headmaster into police custody on the charge of murder. He will reappear before the Court on 29th November 2021.