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Teacher, previously demoted following media interview, reinstated

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 4 December 2007, Helen Abrokwa was reinstated as the head teacher of Padmore Street Primary School in Tema, in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. The reinstatement came 10 weeks after she was demoted and transferred, allegedly for granting an interview to the media about low enrolment levels at her school.

On 18 September, a week after her media interview, the Ghana Education Service (GES) ordered Abrokwa, who has more than 30 years' experience in teaching, to leave her administrative position and resume classroom work.

Following this action, concerned Ghanaians expressed widespread condemnation and called for the GES to rescind its decision. On 15 November, colleagues of Abrokwa took to the streets and threatened an indefinite strike in solidarity with her.

On 29 November, in a letter signed by its director general, Samuel Bannerman-Mensah, the GES told Abrokwa that she was being transferred in relation to "several previous warnings and adverse findings against her in the log book". The letter denied the allegation that the decision stemmed from her media interview.

According to the GES, the decision to reinstate Abrokwa followed a report by a Committee of Inquiry it had set up to look into the matter.

This incident follows an earlier threat to James Okaija Dinsey, Greater Accra regional director of education, for speaking to the media.

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