Prince Kwame Tamakloe, a journalist with Rainbow Radio who recorded the viral video of some students of the Ghana Senior High School in Tamale sleeping in toilet cubicles has rejected claims that the videos were staged.
Mr Tamakloe insisted that contrary to claims by the Headmaster, the students confirmed sleeping in the toilet cubicles due to a lack of space to accommodate them in the dormitories.
The Headmaster of GHANASCO, Doughlas Haruna Yakubu, in an earlier interview on the Citi Breakfast Show, described the video as mischievous and a deliberate misinterpretation of facts.
Mr Yakubu believes that the viral video was staged and dramatised by the journalist to dent the image of the school. He added that the school has adequate space to accommodate more students and does not need to convert toilet facilities into dormitories for students.
“That facility has been so for many years, it has never been a dormitory or a storage room, it is a store more or less. In the 60s when Kwame Nkrumah built the rooms, they were washrooms, and so they still have the design of washrooms, but the facility has not been modernised, so they are just small, small cubicles and that is where we keep our chop boxes when students are travelling,” Mr Yakubu told Citi Breakfast Show host Bernard Avle.
The headmaster added “They are never sleeping places…these materials that you see might have been taken from the dormitory for him [journalist] to cover his videos and leave. Those cubicles are so tiny and so hot that students cannot live in them. We have enough space, so this is not fair.”
But Mr Tamakloe responding to the claims of Mr Yakubu said he confronted the headmaster with his evidence before the videos were released. He added that it is disingenuous for the headmaster to claim that students do not sleep in the toilet cubicles.
“The students told me that they have been sleeping there, and I asked for what reason, and they said due to lack of space. The videos that came out of the toilets that have been converted into dormitories is just a teaser.
“It is unfortunate and funny to hear the headmaster say that it was staged. I went there during the day and picked these shots. If it was staged, I wouldn’t have taken videos of cubicles having mattresses and others not having one. I schooled at Tamale Senior High School and I know how things are done here.”
Mr Tamakloe added that the headmaster denied knowledge of the toilets being used as dormitories when he confronted him with videos.
The Headmaster of the school has been asked to step aside by the Ghana Education Service after the videos were made public.
The GES on Sunday launched an investigation into the incident after it caused outrage on social media and raised concerns about the safety and well-being of the students under the free SHS policy.
According to the GES, the school has excess capacity to house an additional 300 students, yet some students are forced to sleep in such unacceptable conditions.
The investigation is expected to be completed within two weeks, and the Headmaster and Senior Housemaster will be required to report back on the findings.
In a statement released by the management, they expressed their commitment to ensuring that students are provided with a safe school environment and assured all stakeholders and the general public that they would continue to prioritize the safety and well-being of their students.