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Ending sexual harassment in Schools is vital – Mother Superior

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Rev. Sister Elizabeth Amoako, ( Mother Superior),  Principal of Our Lady of Apostles (OLA) College of Education in Cape Coast has called for an  end  to sexual harassment particularly in schools because its implications were enormous.

She said fighting sexual harassment was among one of the prime focus of the school and Its administration was doing its best to completely wipe it off  campus to allow students go through the educational system in an ethically sound environment.

Speaking at a media tour as part of “the 16 days activism against gender based violence” marked worldwide to create awareness in ending sexual harassment globally, she said the institution was actively participating in the celebration to significantly highlight issues of sexual harassment and its effects on its victims.

Transforming Teacher Education (T-TEL) Communication Team organised the tour to collaborate with the media to showcase to the public reforms being carried out in the teacher education sector and to create awareness about measures the College was taking to combat sexual harassment.

T- TEL , a six year programme supported by the United kingdom (UK) AID is aimed at ensuring Ghana’s teaching graduates are well equipped to deliver high quality teaching and learning in schools across the country.

The team from T-TEL led the media to an art gallery that depicted  pictorial drawings on how society must speak against issues of sexual harassment, cherish respect for human rights and the general implications associated with sexual harassment be it verbal or physical abuse.

The art gallery was mounted by the Gender Equality Equity and Social Inclusion Club ( GEESIC), comprising student activists who sensitize people specifically females on sexual harassment.

The media was again led to a gender safe space which has been provided for students who had experienced sexual harassment or were going through discomfort as a result of the shameful act to tell their stories to focal persons to discourage them from bottling-up their grievances to prevent trauma.

“The prime mission of OLA is to train and produce outstanding and exceptional teachers and these are achieved because the school is conscious about the safety and health of student who live and study here” Rev. Sister added.

She also noted that adopting gender parity at all levels for an all-inclusive system that does not discriminate disability or religion through a “conscious strategic plan also comes to play in all our endeavors as a school “.

The Mother Superior said the students will also be empowered to tell the issues as it was with the hope that the action and sensitization would not just end there but be pursued to its logical conclusion.

Mrs. EwuraAdwoa Ampah Mensah, the focal Person of the Gender Safe Space, indicated that, the safe space  records all types of cases that comes knocking on its door with all confidentiality.

It also operates in an all-inclusive system which allows students to freely discuss their troubling issues without considering family background, disability or most importantly, religion.

She also said students were groomed on how to politely say no to harassers other than showing gross insubordination.

Ms. Deborah Quaye, a student teacher who is the president of the GEESIC was concerned that most often girls tend to be quiet on issues relating to sex and that silence affected a lot of lives.

She urged girls to speak up to safeguard themselves against issues that affect them, adding that they should make use of the safe space in addressing their grievances.

Source: GNA

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