The Ministry of Education is to set up a committee to thoroughly investigate recent violent disturbances in senior high schools (SHSs) across the country, which have led to the destruction of school property and disruption of academic work.
The sector minister, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, who announced this, said the investigations would help establish the root causes of the riots and bring the perpetrators to book, as part of efforts to deal with anti-social behaviours in second cycle institutions.
Aside bringing the perpetrators of such violent disturbances to book, the minister of education said teachers whose actions and inaction were found to have precipitated the riots would also be sanctioned.
She stated that the investigations would cover all the recent riots in senior high schools across the country, including the most recent one at the Tuna Senior High Technical School in the Tuna-Sawla- Kalba District in the Northern Region in which it was alleged that a teacher of the school made a student to strip naked for not dressing appropriately, as well as other forms of punishment meted to students, considered inappropriate.
Distribution of laptops
Prof. Opoku-Agyemang was speaking at the Northern Regional launch of the government’s free laptop distribution programme for teachers and the presentation of reading and learning materials to support the Complementary Basic Education (CBE) programme in the region at the Tamale College of Education (TATCO) on Monday.
A total of 1,000 laptops were made available at the ceremony by the ministry for distribution to junior high school (JHS) teachers across the region, bringing the total number of laptops distributed so far to teachers in the region to 4,000 while a total of 435,500 reading and learning materials written in nine Ghanaian languages are to support the implementation of the CBE in the region.
The CBE programme is to teach out-of-school children in deprived communities reading, writing and numeracy skills in their mother tongue to enable them to enrol in formal school at the primary level after going through the nine-month functional literacy classes.
The BCE aims at assisting Ghana to attain its goal of universal primary education.
Currently, the CBE programme is being implemented in the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and Brong Ahafo regions.
Government investment in education
Prof. Opoku-Agyemang warned that the ministry would not look on for a section of students to take the laws into their own hands to destroy school property and thus render the investment made in school infrastructure useless.
The minister, who was accompanied by the Deputy Minister in charge of Pre-tertiary Education, Mr Alex Kyeremeh, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Techiman North, said the ministry would give serious considerations to an appeal to the government to train all teachers across the country in Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) to enhance teaching and learning in schools.
Expenditure on education
Prof. Opoku-Agyemang noted that currently 34 per cent of the Government of Ghana (GOG) expenditure went into education and announced that the ministry would like to partner the various teacher unions to provide houses under a scheme for teachers while the teachers were in active service in the various districts across the country to solve the accommodation challenges facing them.
The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna, who bemoaned the indiscipline among the youth in the country, added his voice to calls for thorough investigations into recent disturbances in some senior high schools and said those found culpable should face the full rigours of the law to serve as a deterrent to others.
The Northern Regional Director of Education, Mr Paul Apanga, on behalf of the teachers, thanked the government for the gesture and appealed to the ministry to train all teachers across the country in ICT and provide them with laptops to enhance teaching and learning.