Nation awaits education minister and GES boss after Akufo-Addo’s clemency

Director General GES, Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa and Education Minister, Mathew Opoku Prempeh Director General GES, Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa and Education Minister, Mathew Opoku Prempeh

The nation is waiting to hear from the Minister of Education and Ghana Education Service (GES) head, as to whether they have accepted President Akufo-Addo's plea to reconsider their decision, banning the 14 students from writing their West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

It has been several hours since President Akufo-Addo's compassionate move captured in a statement signed by his Director of Communications, Eugene Arhin, but neither Education Minister, Mathew Opoku Prempeh nor the Director General of GES, Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa, have spoken on the matter, although some of the students have exams tomorrow; August 10, 2020.

The GES which is under the Ministry of Education, dismissed and barred the 14 students from writing their remaining papers over their involvement in acts of indiscipline and vandalism after writing the science paper.

Some even insulted the President and threatened not to vote for him in the 2020 general elections.

But President Akufo-Addo in a statement showed mercy, arguing that their dismissal alone will serve as enough punishment and deterrent to the rest of the final year students whom he had nicknamed "Akufo-Addo graduates".

He is thus, hopeful that the students will be allowed by the GES to take their final examinations as scheduled.

"Even though the acts of indiscipline undertaken by these students are intolerable, acts which have led to their subsequent dismissal from school, President Akufo Addo is of the firm view that dismissal alone is enough punishment, and will serve as enough deterrent against future acts of indiscipline," the statement said.

The President, however, pointed out that "other punishment imposed by the relevant authorities should remain in place."

The violent action from the students was in protest of strict invigilation during the examinations.

Since the beginning of these developments, the GES, has said it would adopt a zero-tolerance approach to the recent disturbances in schools.

The GES, said it was appalled by the videos showing "crass indiscipline" from students, including the instances of students insulting the President.

Last Friday, GES dismissed some 14 final year students, who are believed to have caused chaos and destroyed properties in their respective schools in the wake of the ongoing WASSCE.

The GES in a statement, said the action was to serve as a deterrent for other students who are still partaking in the exams. They have therefore, been barred from writing their remaining papers, following various acts of indiscipline captured in videos and shared on social media.

The West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) has also relocated its examination centre from the premises of Bright Senior High School in Akyem Kukurantumi in the Eastern Region to the Ofori Panin Senior High School, following the students' riot that occurred at the centre last Thursday.

They were reportedly instigated by the proprietor of the school and attacked an invigilator and a reporter with the Daily Graphic in Koforidua, Damalie Emmanuel Pacome, over claims that supervision was strict during the exams.

The students holding knives, cutlasses, sticks and stones, chased the journalist who was in the school to verify reports of attacks on invigilators by the students.

Students of the Tweneboa Kodua Senior High School and Juaben Senior High School, for instance, threatened to boycott the rest of their papers, because invigilators would not allow them to cheat.

Some of the students, had relied on leaked exam questions known in local parlance as ''apor'' but went to their examination halls only to find out that the examiners had changed the questions, and got angry running riot on various campuses.

Source: The Herald