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Free SHS: CHASS agrees with punishments to headmasters – MP suggests

 

Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer
Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer

Headmasters sanctioned for allegedly flouting Ghana Education Service guidelines on Free SHS policy deserved the punishments because “they brought it upon themselves”, the Member of Parliament for Sekondi has asserted.

According to the MP, Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer, the affected headmasters were aware of the guidelines and yet went ahead to breach it.

At least 19 heads of schools are being investigated by the GES for allegedly obstructing the smooth implementation of government’s Free SHS policy. Two headmasters have already been demoted and about seven others interdicted.

At its 55th annual conference in Ho last week, Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) called on government to prepare a ‘Free SHS Bible’ for Heads of Schools, that will contain clear-cut written guidelines to ensure heads do not overstep their bounds in the implementation of the policy.

But Mr. Mercer told TV3’s New Day on Saturday that the heads have been “instructed” on what do to do when they encounter any challenges, which he said the affected heads failed to comply.

They were to write to GES, stating the challenges before approval is given to them to go ahead, he explained.

He argued that though some considered the sanctions harsh, the union the headmasters belong to are not complaining, knowing the right thing was not done.

“The heads were aware of the consequences of flouting the guidelines and yet breached it,” the MP stated.

“It is interesting why CHASS has not spoken about the sanctions that were imposed on these people.

“It is because they know if they flout the guidelines there would be sanctions.”

Mr. Mercer added, “so far as I am concerned, it is a good example that has been set.”

But HR practitioner Dr. Edward Kwapong insisted that the punishments were too harsh.

He therefore advised the Ghana Education Service to hasten slowly in meting out punishments to head teachers in implementing the Free SHS policy.

Dr. Kwapong wanted to know if the GES has defined the offences and corresponding sanctions before taking that decision.

“It would be very embarrassing to all of us if they take the matter up” and GES is found to have acted wrongly, he cautioned.

Meanwhile, the MP for Builsa South who felt the sanctions were too harsh suspects there is a “pressure point to muscle out heads” who are exposing challenges associated with the policy.

In Dr. Clement Apaak’s assessment, the head teachers are being punished for just adopting “practical means” to let the free SHS work rather.

Read: Free SHS extortion: 2 headmasters sacked, 7 interdicted

By Isaac Essel |3news.com|Ghana

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