Mother of boy who died at KNUST SHS speaks

The Ashanti regional chapter of the Ghana Association of Graduate Teachers has absolved its members of blame in the death of the student at the KNUST Senior High School.

The association says its members in the KNUST Senior High School did not act irresponsibly in the case involving the death of the student.

The Ghana Education Service has begun investigating claims that teachers and school authorities stood unconcerned while the deceased suffered in pains for hours till a parent picked him to the hospital.

According to the association’s findings, the parents had indicated their intention to pick up the student by themselves to the hospital even though an exeat had been issued to the student.

The regional NAGRAT Secretary Joseph Atindana Babah bemoans the absence of a proper infirmary and resident health personnel in several boarding schools in Ghana. He warns that the status quo leaves room for such events to keep recurring.

He said “there was COVID team that was trained to take care of emergencies but I don’t think any of my teachers there is a medical doctor or a nurse, the best they could do is what they did. On hindsight, probably they could have done something else but at the time the parent said ‘I am on my way, I am coming to pick my child,’ maybe their sense of judgement also said let’s wait for the parent and especially when the parent had informed them it it was just ulcer, so I think that was the problem.”

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“Before school resumed, we told government and all stakeholders that we would have preferred that we put our nose masks down, nobody should go to school. However, government will have its way and said that we should come. We didn’t want to incur the wrath of the public and parents that we didn’t want to teach. But we told government to ensure that we have the right PPE for our students as well as the teacher,” he noted.

Mr Babah added that “obviously the first one to test the kids before they come to school was not followed. The PPE some came alright and we were using them. When the students are around the teachers they comply, when they go to the dormitory, which teacher will go there to ensure that they sleep on their bed and they don’t sleep on the other peoples beds.”

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He advised that government should “close down the schools, review the situation and if we need to come back. He went on “the teacher also needs incentives just like his colleagues in the health sector, some form of incentives, tax relief, insurance. ‘Give me half of my salary add it to the teachers salary,’ that is also to motivate the teachers to work very well and happily.”

Teachers and School authorities of the KNUST Senior High School have come under sharp public criticism after the death of Richard Sam a final year business student of the KNUST Senior High School.

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Videos taken by students showed him wobbling in pain while staff of the school stood aloof.

This situation, according to the account of students, lasted for hours while persistence for the student to be rushed for medical care went unattended.

The Ghana Education Service has asked the headmistress of the school Felicia Asamoah Dankwaa, to step aside for investigations.

Several agitated parents who trooped to the school after seeing the videos insisted that the teachers seen in the videos be sanctioned for negligence.

But the National Association for Graduate Teachers in the Ashanti region insists the calls are too early to make; as the union’s interactions with the teachers paints a different picture.

Meanwhile, academic work has resumed in the KNUST high School as promised by the Ashanti Regional Educational Directorate. The regional director Mary Owusu Akyiaw will be in charge of the school in the absence of the interdicted headmistress.