Issues DOVVSU criticizes N/R Education Directorate for probing rape cases

The authorities of the Kumbungu SHS reportedly dismissed the girl from the school for alleging that the Assistant Headmaster had raped her

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The Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service has criticised the Northern Regional Directorate of Education for setting up an internal committee to investigate an alleged rape case at Kumbungu Senior High School (SHS).

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Emmanuel Holortu, the Northern Regional Coordinator of DOVVSU, who criticized the action, said the incident bordered on criminality and the appropriate agency to handle it was the police service and not an internal committee of the Education Directorate.

He was speaking to the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a community durbar to commemorate this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, organised by the Department of Gender with funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) at Kumbungu, on Thursday.

The event themed: “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All,” is to fight against atrocities meted out to women and girls.

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence is marked annually from November 25 to December 10, to reinforce the campaign for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls.

An 18-year old second-year female student of Kumbungu SHS alleged she was raped in December 2014, by an Assistant Headmaster of the school when going through the processes to collect her school uniform from the school’s store.

She said the Assistant Headmaster took advantage of her at his bungalow when he asked her to go to his residence to collect her uniform.

However, the authorities of the Kumbungu SHS reportedly dismissed the girl from the school for alleging that the Assistant Headmaster had raped her.

Consequently, the Northern Regional Directorate of Education, through the Kumbungu District Directorate of Education formed a committee to investigate the case, and the committee is yet to complete the investigations.

ASP Holortu criticized this act, saying it was the duty of the Police to handle the case but not that of an internal committee of the Directorate of Education.

He also wondered why the incident was not promptly reported to the Police, saying a lot of evidence that would be needed to successfully prosecute the case in terms of medical examination of the victim which might have been compromised.

He said the failure to punish perpetrators of such crimes motivated others to indulge in similar crimes and urged all to report such cases to the Police for prompt action to be taken against the perpetrators.

Mrs. Linda Amoah, the Northern Regional Girl-Child Education Officer, who spoke at the durbar, refused to comment on the incident, saying it was under investigation and she did not want to pre-empt or prejudice the outcome of the investigations.

Source: GNA

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