The Director General of the Ghana Education Service, GES, Professor Opoku Amankwa has directed the headmaster of the Awe Senior High School in the Northern Region to admit an ex-convict, Abu Safianu Yahaya who was refused admission because he wrote his Basic Education Certificate Examination, BECE, in prison.
This follows a reportage by Crime Check TV GH, a subsidiary of Crime Check Foundation, CCF that caught the attention of the Africa Education Watch, AEW, an education NGO which also added its voice to get him admitted into Awe Senior High School.
Yahaya said he wants be a nurse and if he did not gain admission into any of the schools, he would commit suicide.
“All the schools I tried to get admission into asked me to go back to my former school for a recommendation letter before they can admit me. The Awe SHS head teacher after reading the recommendation from the Kumasi Central Prison where I wrote my BECE, told me unless I go to the Ghana Education Service head office in Accra he wouldn’t be in the position to admit me.” He told crimecheckghana.
Yahaya is now excited after gaining admission into the Awe senior High School through the effort of CCF and the AEW. He advised other ex-convicts to take advantage of the positive training offered in the prison and live lives expected of them. He expressed gratitude to CCF and AEW for adding its voice to amplify his plight. “I am very happy for the intervention of CCF and the Africa Education Watch. When I went back to the Awe Senior High School headmaster, he said my story is all over the media space and pressure was mounted on him to admit me. Now I am preparing to go to school.” He said.
According to Yahaya, he was convicted by a Kumasi High Court for stealing and was jailed to serve twelve years at the Kumasi Central Prison after he and his accomplice snatched a lady’s bag in Kumasi. “I engaged in untoward behaviour for sometime before my conviction. Now, I have repented”. He said.
Yahaya said he served four years of his term after his family members appealed his sentence following the death of his father. This he said was because his presence was required to enable the family undertake a ritual for his deceased father.
Yahaya’s determination to reach out to Crime Check Foundation, an implementing partner of the USAID Justice Sector Support Activity, JSSA, seeks to reinforce efforts by the US government to enhance Ghana’s justice delivery system through increasing oversight and monitoring of criminal cases, strengthening advocacy for accountability of key justice sector institutions to improve justice delivery and increasing citizens knowledge and access to justice sector services.
The many others whose rights have been abused or may have become victims of similar situations may contact the JSSA implementing partners helpline – 0203799978 to seek redress.