The Ghana Education Service (GES) has summarily dismissed eight second-year students of the Chiana Senior High School in the Kassena Nankana West District in the Upper East Region for insulting President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in a video.
The affected students in a widely circulated video misconducted themselves and used vulgar and unprintable words which were directed at President Akufo-Addo in November 2022.
Subsequently, the students were identified and suspended and their parents were also invited to assist in investigations to unravel the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate utterances and gestures of the students.
The Ghana Education Service after citing the unfortunate video issued a release dated November 12, 2022, condemning the act which it described as being against every educational and moral principle in the society.
The GES further assured the public that the outcome of the investigations into the incident would be made public as soon as it is concluded.
The dismissal letters of the students were ready in November last year but the management of the school waited till the reopening of school for the 2023 academic year before handing it over to them.
On Wednesday, January 11, 2023, the affected students and their parents were invited to the school during which the dismissal letters were handed over to them.
The dismissal letter signed by the Director-General of the GES, Dr Eric Nkansah dated November 29, 2022 and addressed to a parent of one of the affected students, said management of the GES has given approval for your dismissal with immediate effect to serve as a deterrent to other students.
“This is in view of your involvement in misconducting yourself by making derogatory comments in a video that went viral, a conduct considered very undesirable and contrary to the acceptable standards of conduct generally required of any student in our educational system in Ghana," the letter reads.
“Your ward is therefore requested to properly hand over any school property in her possession to the headmistress in the school before leaving”.
“It is expected that your ward will use this as a major turning point in her life to bring the desired change in her behaviour and attitude towards life”.
Plea for clemency
Meanwhile, the affected students together with their parents have asked for clemency and pleaded with President Akufo-Addo to immediately intervene to enable the GES to rescind the decision.
In a remorseful video, the affected students, in turns, said they did not know what influenced them to engage in such an unruly act to denigrate the President.
According to them, they were deeply sorry and that in hindsight they had regretted what they did, saying "we plead with President Akufo-Addo and the GES to give us a second chance as we would be of good behaviour".
They said, "most of us are from poor homes with single parents who do not have money to register them for the private WASSCE examinations now as they are currently in final year students ".
Guilty of offence
Reacting to the dismissal, a parent, Martin Asiabono Akeleyiira, in an interview with Graphic Online said although his daughter and her colleagues were guilty of the offence, he was surprised and taken aback that the students were out rightly dismissed.
He said: "I thought management of the GES would tamper justice with mercy and not sack them but rather offer them a punishment to do to prevent them from repeating such a misconduct in future".
On behalf of the other parents, he pleaded with President Akufo-Addo to immediately intervene since the dismissal of the students had the tendency to negatively affect their future development.