The Ghana Education Service (GES), has asked political activists to refrain from campaigning in various secondary schools.
The caution follows a viral video in which the Deputy National Organizer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) , Joshua Akamba, is seen inciting some students of Tempane SHS in the Upper East Region, against government’s free SHS policy.
Mr. Akamba, who is seeking to be elected as the substantive National Organizer of the NDC, can be seen in a video that’s gone viral on social media, interacting with some senior high school students in the Upper East Region.
He asked the students if they were experiencing issues with bedbugs in their dormitories as a result of congestion which has been occasioned by the free SHS policy, to which they responded in the affirmative.
He made the students show their bedbug bite scars to the cameras, and promised them their challenges would be over in 2020 if they vote out the NPP.
The GES in a statement described the development as “inciting students against President Nana Akufo -Addo and the Free SHS programme.”
“Management of GES condemns such acts and wishes to bring to the attention of the general public, especially political activists that the Ghana Education Service is a non-political state agency with the key responsibility of implementing pre-tertiary educational policy of the country and wishes to remain as such.”
“Meanwhile, all regional and district directors of Education and Heads of SHS have been directed to ensure that schools and students are not used for political activities without authorization. Management wishes to assure parents and the general public that steps have been taken to ensure that students and school premises are immune from such unwarranted political interference.”
The youth wing of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has since condemned the Deputy NDC National Organizer over the incident.
In a statement, the NPP further indicated that the development was a “clear indication of the NDC’s vicious intentions for the free SHS Program.”
While calling on the GES to investigate the issue, the party’s youth wing also called for sanctions against authorities who allowed the incident to take place.
“The Ghana Education Service must as a matter of urgency launch a full-scale investigation into this matter and give the appropriate sanctions to the authorities of the school who allowed this unfortunate incident to take place. The Free SHS Policy is undoubtedly the boldest policy initiative in the governance history of our country, and we must collectively guard against any actions which will seek to destroy this all-important programme,” the statement added.
According to the NPP, the headteacher of the school has been suspended for allowing Akamba gain access to students
Although GES rules are clearly against political activities in all schools except tertiary institutions, the two main parties often break the rules.
By: Marian Ansah/citinewsroom/Ghana