Female students of senior high schools within the Assin area in the Central Region have made damning allegations against their male teachers, claiming they are being sexually harassed by their teachers in exchange for grades and money.
According to the students, the teachers mostly coerce them into having sexual relationship with them in exchange for favours such as good grades in their end of term exams and money.
They claim female students who fail to give in to the demands of the male teachers are usually abused, hated, sacked from class and or failed in examinations.
At the climax of this year’s 16 days of activism campaign against gender-based violence at Assin Anode, the students expressed disappointment in the male teachers who are engaged in such immoral and unethical behaviour.
The students who spoke to 3News on condition of anonymity were from Assin Manso SHS, Nyankomasi SHS, Obiri Yeboah SHS, Assin State College, and Assin North Community Day School.
“Some of the teachers when they propose to the students, they tell us they want to date us, they are going to give you marks in examination, they’re going to give us money,” one student said.
She added “especially with the boarders, sometimes we get broke and we will be needing money so they tell you they’re going to provide you everything mostly in your academics. So if you refuse not to accept, they will hate you, they will be saying all sort of things…Sometimes they can even sack you from the classroom”.
Another student also observed some of their colleagues were influencing other girls into engaging in such practice with their teachers and other guys outside the campus.
“Sometimes it is our fault; we the girls, we look at our friends who don’t have money and [tell them] you can date a teacher he will give you money” she said, noting those girls go on to “say me, i am having someone outside who is giving me money”.
One other student shared similar claims that their colleagues who are engaged in relationships with teachers and other guys outside campus were influencing a lot more girls to tow in their line.
“We in boarding house most often get influenced by our friends. Sometimes you go to your friend and you see her stuff and you’re like where did you get it from and she’s like oh this guy or that man [provided them to them], so when you’re not careful you easily get influenced,” she said.
She indicated that when one is not smart, she will easily fall for the bait from their teachers, saying “When you’re not smart or you’re not able to contact an elderly person you easily fall for that.
Another student said “Our teachers who are supposed to be advise us rather end up proposing to us and when you refuse too they try to bring your self-esteem down, when they come to class they will be insulting you.
She added “sometimes they can even refuse to mark you exams papers”, indicating that one of such issued that came up recently was reported to the school council and “they are working on it. We are hoping something better comes out”.
The student said though such incidents happen a lot, they have remained quite about it because they don’t want to taint the image of their schools, saying “we don’t want it to go viral so we keep it to ourselves”.
For another student, their parents are also to be blamed in the issue, indicating that because of the Free SHS programme, some parents are shirking their responsibility in providing for their children the basic necessities they need as girls.
“Most of our parents they are illiterate so when you ask for something they can’t provide for us so we therefore engage in certain things we are not supposed to do, like premarital sex ending into teenage pregnancies,” she stated.
She thus wants the government to provide some scholarship for girls “because since the free education most of our parents they think it is free, everything is free so basic things we need they don’t provide for us”.
Meanwhile, Regent of the Assin Ando, Nana Kweku Antwi confirmed there have been several sexual harassment cases by the teachers in area, and partly blamed parents for not bringing up their children the way they should.
He said some of the dressings of these children are not the best yet the parents look on unconcerned.
Addressing a gathering of school children, parents and opinion leaders in the area, the Gender and Social Protection Minister, Otiko Djaba, said it important for all to know that it is against the law to commit a crime against both children and adults.
“…As soon as there is a crime against, whether it is a child or adult, the first point of call is to report to the Police and then the social workers will come in and then justice will take its course through the court system,” she said.
She observed that Ghana frowns on all forms of abuses, and stressed on the need to end teenage pregnancy, child prostitution, defilement, rape, child marriage and human trafficking as Ghana progress as a nation.
By Kwame Kakraba|Onua FM|3news.com|Ghana