Fresh investigations have begun, into the death of Aburi Girls SHS student; Stacey Okyere, after her parents alleged that delay and negligence on the part of school Management caused her untimely demise.
Family of the 16-year-old who died on Sunday, demanded investigations after blaming school authorities for the unfortunate incident.
But Eastern Regional Minister Seth Kwame Acheampong in an interview with 3news, deems blaming school authorities for the death premature.
“Because of the nature of the passing of the ward, it has become a conversation where we require law enforcement agencies in particular the criminal investigation department of the Ghana Police Service to come in, to investigate the matter for us.”
“The Ghana Education service has its own mechanisms of investigating these matters as well, and so for us it’s premature to offer any form of conclusions in respect of this matter,” he said.
Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum and Regional Education Director who visited the school and held a closed-door meeting with authorities, declined to comment on the issue until investigations are complete.
The issue which has raised concerns, over the duty of care for students in boarding schools and the protocols that guide their treatment, has further been raised in Parliament.
Member of Parliament’s Health Committee, Alexander Hottordze is advocating the application of standardized health protocols for students across senior high schools in the country.
“Heads must role so that it doesn’t happen next time round. Anytime that a child complains, now that we don’t have the right caliber of health personnel, if they have to make a decision on someone’s health, they should not deny the child exeat, they should allow the child to go,” he suggested.
Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare has also proffered some solutions.
“We must have a policy on health and safety in our senior high schools. That’s the first thing. Within this policy’s contest, we must have clear protocols for the establishment, the resourcing, and the management of sick bays or infirmaries. We should also have guidelines for the management of cases so that it doesn’t become anyone’s discretion to ensure that a child who requires medical attention gets same within reasonable time. When these are done, they should be factored into the KPI’s and the monitoring indicators that school supports officers go to school and monitor.”
For now, parents of the deceased are awaiting the results of an autopsy, which is expected to be ready next week.
By Judith Brown