Don’t deny sick students exeat – NAGRAT tells SHS Heads

Source The Ghana Report

The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has warned heads of senior high schools to desist from denying sick students permission to seek external medical care.

NAGRAT’s stern warning follows a high court judgement on July 8, 2024, that Achimota School was liable for negligence in the death of Kervin Kofi Moses, a General Arts student, in 2016.

The case, presided over by Justice Comfort Kwasiwor Tasiame, slapped the defendants (Mr Danso, Achimota Secondary School Board of Governors, and the Office of the Attorney-General) with a cost of GH¢400,000 as general damages, GH¢200,000 as damages for loss of expectation of life, and another cost of GH¢10,000 in favour of the plaintiffs.

In an interview, Angel Carbonu, the President of NAGRAT, advised school leaders to release students who require medical care promptly.

“When a student comes to you, you are not a medical professional, so you cannot determine whether a student is sick or not because you don’t have competence in that field.

“So when a student comes to you and says that he or she is sick, all that you have to do is refer the student to the appropriate professionals who have the competence to determine the sickness or otherwise of a person,” he noted on Citi News.

“What business does a housemaster or a housemistress have to deny a student exeat to go to the hospital?” he quizzed.

Cases of students losing their lives due to refusal by school authorities continue to make headlines.

Below are a few cases:

Aburi Girls’ SHS incident

In February this year, Ghanaians woke up to the sad news of the death of a first-year student at Aburi Girls Senior High School (SHS) in the Eastern Region.

The 15-year-old student, Stacey Okyere, passed away on Monday, February 5, 2024, after complaining of severe stomach pains.

Reports indicate that she was denied medical attention by the school nurse, who purportedly accused her of repeatedly feigning illness.

They later rushed her to the hospital after much persuasion.

Unfortunately, she passed away.

Akim Swedru Senior High School (AKISS) incident

In the same month of February, a 19-year-old student at Akim Swedru Senior High School, Kester Vadje, died after complaining of ill health.

The student reportedly went to the housemaster and requested an exeat since he was ill.

However, the housemaster told him he did not look like a sick person and denied him the exeat.

After several failed attempts to get the exeat, he called his father, who went to the school to get him.

The father rushed Kester to the hospital, but the facility could not treat him.

Medical officers transferred him to the Akwatia St. Dominic Hospital.

He, however, died some hours after he was admitted to the facility.

The family is blaming the school for the death of their son.

They insist that if the school had given Kester the exeat on time, he would have survived.

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