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Great AMASS Student Flogged By Teacher, Losing Sight Whiles Battling Stroke

A world of absolute darkness in sight is gradually setting upon a young lass whose hope is running down the drain and failing to be the light of her destitute family.

Janet Halm, 21, who exempted herself from being punished for lateness in reporting early to school after a week of school’s resumption, has to suffer this consequences.

Additionally, she could not sit for this year’s West African Senior School Examination (WASSCE) as her situation worsens day after day with a new condition of lost vision setting in.

The Metro Lens paper which first broke the story, has since followed up, with the last story about her being pulled on a stretcher to the Assin Nyankomase Magistrate Court in the Central Region to give her side of the story.

EARLIER REPORT:

 Great AMASS Final Year Student, 21, Battles Stroke After Continuous Floggings On Head By Teacher

…For Late Report To School; GES, Ministry of Education look unconcerned.

Corporal punishment may be one of the effective mechanisms to instill discipline in learners, however, when it is abused tends to have several negative effects on the learner.

It is in this vein, that, the Ghana Education Service (GES) enforced a policy three years ago to ban all forms of corporal punishments especially canning in schools, as quite a number of teachers abused it. A letter from the GES dated from January 2019 declared that all forms of corporal punishment had been banned in public and private schools in 2017 and instructed all pre-tertiary schools to adopt the “Positive Discipline Toolkit”

Contrarily, this ban has been flagrantly defied by a Physics teacher, Mr. Daniel Osei Owusu of the Assin Manso Secondary School popularly known as Great AMASS.

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Mr. Owusu is said to have ignored the plea for a postponement of punishment from 21-year-old Home Economics final year student, Ms. Janet Halm who was recuperating from ill-health.

Infuriated by her plea, Mr. Owusu whipped Ms. Halm’s head continuously with a stick that blurred her vision and later resulted in a traumatic brain damage also known as stroke of the latter which has affected her mobility.

Recounting the situation amidst tears streaking down her chubby cheeks, Ms. Halm said, on 5th January when school resumed, she was unable to report to school due to ill-health and had to stay at home until the following week.

She added, it was a norm of the school that, all students who reported late are punished and so for fear of that, she resolved to attend to school even if her condition was not in the best shape in the ensuing week of resumption.

She recounted, during one of her classes, Mr. Owusu sneaked in and instructed that, all students who reported late present themselves for punishment.

Ms. Halm said, since she was still recovering from her illness, she therefore suggested to Mr. Owusu that, her punishment be postponed however, the appeal did not seem satisfactory to the teacher which resulted in the canning on the head.

The 21-year-old final year student added, she complained to her best friend that, her vision was blurring and again having severe headache when school had closed.

She reported the condition to her parents who were alarmed by the cause and therefore sought medical attention. Upon informing the school authorities of the worsening condition of Ms. Halm, the headmaster donated an amount of twenty Ghana cedis GH¢ 20, Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS), pain killer and rubbing cream.

Meanwhile, the said teacher is reported to have been going about his normal duties and the poor parents who have spent more than Gh¢10,000,00 with support from benevolent individuals on medical bills are currently in limbo regarding the destiny and health of their daughter.

Ms. Halm has become bedridden and unable to walk or stand. Due to financial restraints, the parents have halted her medical examination and periodic review at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

APPEARANCE IN COURT

Great AMASS student appears in court lying on stretcher

The Assin Nyankumasi Ahenkro District Court in the Central Region has adjourned the case of Ms. Janet Halm, a final year student at the Assin Manso Secondary School alias Great AMASS, who was flogged on the head for late resumption to school after vacation to 28th September, 2022 to begin trial.

Ms. Halm, battling with a traumatic brain damage otherwise, stroke, observed the proceedings while she lied on a stretcher brought into the courtroom by the Emergency Medical Technicians from the Krowor Constituency National Ambulance Service in the Greater Accra Region

The adjournment was made to enable the prosecutor, Inspector Iddris Salifu submit copies of witness and victim statements duly signed to the registry and copies shared with the accused, Mr. Daniel Osei Owusu alias Amnesty to enable the court start a case management conference leading to trial.

A case management conference is an early hearing for the court to identify and understand what the real issues in dispute are and to consider whether they can be narrowed before trial.

The judge expressed his concern about the delay in the commencement of the trial since the case was presented to him and added, the need for the prosecutor to hasten the organization of relevant documentation.    

One of the relatives of the victim, Kwabena Owusu suggested to the judge for the adoption of a zoom conference (an application software that enables one to hold a meeting with other participants) with the victim to give her statement due to her unstable condition.

The judge welcomed the suggestion and added that, he prays the victim would recover before the commencement of the trial and said that, the zoom conference would be deployed should her condition remain unstable.

The proceeding which was supposed to have started at 9am commenced at 10:48am until 12:10pm, had some of the community dwellers, friends, the media, paramedics from the Krowor Constituency of the National Ambulance Service in attendance.

Lawyer for the accused, Mr. Francis Buah expressed readiness to cooperate to enable the commencement of the trial.

The accused who was clad in a white short sleeved shirt with a pair of jeans and camp boots was in the witness box, appeared calm and kept his attention until the end of the proceeding.

Meanwhile at the premises of the court, the father of the victim, hooted at some people who purported to be relatives of the accused for capturing a video of the victim who lied benignly on the stretcher and was accompanied to the Ambulance.

Facts of the case

On 11th January this year, when school had resumed, Ms. Halm could not report on the exact date as a result of ill-health. She went to school on the following week and had to be punished for reporting late after resumption. She and other students were given punishment by the accused to weed in the school compound.

The accused later went to the class and asked those who did not do the weeding. Two students who failed to weed were lashed by the accused.

When it got to the turn of Ms. Halm, she explained that, she was unwell, as such had received injection on her buttocks and could not receive the cane. The accused person, caned the victim on her head and asked her to join her colleagues who knelt down.

On 17th January, 2022 the victim complained of severe head ache and reported to her mother, Rakia Mohammed who reported the case to the Assin Manso Police Station.

Police medical report was issued to the victim to attend hospital and report hereafter. The accused was arrested and was released by the police. He was charged with the offence to stand trial.

 

When Metro Lens reported the story, the Deputy Minister of Education, Rev. Ntim Fordjour who is also the Member of Parliament for the Assin South Constituency, sent an amount of two thousand Ghana cedis (GH¢2000.00) to his Personal Assistant, Mr. Obiba J.K. to cover some of the victim’s medical bills. Rev. Fordjour has assured the family of the victim of his quest to follow through until she (Ms. Halm) gets back on her feet

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BRIGHT FRANCIS

BRIGHT FRANCIS ADOM is an ICT teacher at Ghana Education Service, Entrepreneur, Hard Working and I believe in giving out Accurate information to help others

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