BY MUNTALLA INUSAH | firstname.lastname@example.org
THE HUMAN Rights Division of the Accra High Court has awarded costs and damages against Mitzi Zormelo, proprietor of Aristoland Montessori School in Nungua, and Samuel Arhin, a teacher, for human rights violation in the form of brutally caning a 9-year-old child for not doing her Twi homework.
The Court, presided over by Justice Nicholas Mensah Cudjoe Abodakpi, said in his landmark judgement the respondents had committed serious human rights violation against the child who was aged nine as of January 2017 when the teacher employed corporal punishment on her for failure to do two homework assignments.
The Human Rights court held that corporal punishment had been outlawed in the country and as such offended the 1992 constitution, the GES Act, GES code of conduct for teachers, UN Convention on Children’s Rights and the African Charter on Children’s Rights.
In its judgement on Friday, the court said the four witnesses who filed affidavits in support of the respondents’ case were all teachers and they gave inconsistent evidence.
It said investigations by the Ghana Police Service, GES and medical report by LEKMA Hospital proved that the respondents were liable for the allegation against them.
In February 2017, a 9-year-old Nigerian pupil, Ogechi Nwosu, of Aristoland Montessori School in Nungua, Accra, was brutally lashed by her teacher for failing to complete her Twi assignments.
“On Wednesday, I didn’t do my Twi homework and my teacher caned me on my buttocks. The marks were very big. I couldn’t sit down, the pains were so much…He told the people who hadn’t done their homework to stand in front of the class and he beat us. He held my dress and hit me three times; it was so painful I couldn’t sit down. I had to force myself and sit down”.
Narrating the incident to Starr News’s Atiewin Mbillah-Lawson, Ogechi said on that fateful Wednesday she got to school without completing her Twi homework, as a result, her teacher, Samuel Arhin, resorted to caning on her buttocks, an act which left the little girl scared, bruised and unable to sit down.
Shocked and disgusted, Mr. and Mrs. Nwosu, parents of Nwosu, could not come to terms with their daughter’s predicament.
“She came home sad and in tears and I asked her and she said her teachers had caned her on her buttocks. After looking at it, I was in tears. I couldn’t believe what I saw on her butts,” Uche Nwosu, the father, said.
Mr. Nwosu petitioned the Ministries of Education, and Gender and Social Protection, DOVVSU and the IGP to look into the case.
He also filed a suit against the teacher and authorities of the school.