Popular Ghanaian lawyer warns educational authorities to respect the constitution when dealing with students
16th Feb 2015 In Ghana, a popular lawyer Garry Nimako Marfo, known for leading thousands of students to victory at the Human Rights Court in the country, has cautioned against the abuse of power in educational institutions. Barrister Marfo aimed his warning especially at the authorities, in their conduct towards students. The lawyer also told students to feel free to approach lawyers in the interpretation of the law in instances where rights violations are suspected.
The warning came while Barrister Marfo was reacting to a story where a former student of the Keta Senior High School was denied his transcript on allegations of misconduct.
The student in question is Cyril Vigbedor, a former senior prefect who completed school in 2014. He received an educational award by Ghana’s President for short-term studies in America, but his quest to pursue further studies was halted, when the school told him point blank to “go away” when he went to the assistant headmistress’ office to pursue his transcript.
According to the renowned lawyer, the basis for the refusal was not just flawed but unconstitutional. He is quoted as saying “Academic transcript is always a performance of a person’s educational profiling…the person is entitled to it,”
Mr. Nimako also sounded a word of caution to duty bearers to carry out their duties with utmost respect for the constitution. According to him, “There is an obligation on you to ensure that the rules of natural justice are brought to bear on the work that you do. I think we have to get serious in this country…Somebody showing respect to you is a question of morality it’s not a question of law…the question of morality does not arise when it comes to demands of your right to education. You must show respect but the question of morality is a different matter altogether”.