GES raises concern over tattooing, piercing among public students

public students

Describing it as troubling, the Ghana Education Service (GES) has raised concern over the growing prevalence of tattooing, multiple piercings, and bleaching among students, particularly those in Senior High Schools (SHSs).


Expressing worry about teenage pregnancies, Ms Priscilla Christabel Eshun, the Central Regional Girls Education Officer of the Ghana Education Service said it was surprising that some young students had bold tattoos of funny names and meanings.

The Ghana Education Service (GES) official observed the unusual habits among the school children during his outfit working visits to selected districts in the Central Region on its ‘Life Skills Programme’ to empower pupils.

“In one of the schools we visited, a young girl had bleached her skin to the point where it was peeling off and emitting an unpleasant smell. “We also observed students with multiple piercings in their ears.” Ms Eshun told journalists.

The Education Service official speaking to the media added “This has become a fashion trend, and many girls are engaging in it without considering the potential health, employment, and other socio-economic consequences.”

According to her, GES also found that many boys had dropped out of school for several reasons and were operating tricycles (Aboboyaa or Pragyia) adding that many young girls were associating with the boys for financial assistance.

“Regrettably, many girls are enticed into such relationships for financial gain, using the money to purchase sanitary pads and other personal items,” Ms Eshun revealed.

She emphasised that the Ghana Education Service (GES) prohibited tattooing, multiple piercing, and bleaching as stated in its harmonised Code of Conduct approved for students in pre-tertiary schools.

The section of the code of conduct titled “Improper Dressing” explicitly states that “bleaching of the skin by a student shall not be allowed.”


Priscilla Christabel Eshun said the GES Code of Conduct stressed the necessity for students to dress neatly, adhere to prescribed dress code and footwear consistently and avoid accessories such as chains, bangles, caps, and bracelets.

“Spectacles, for instance, were only permitted with a valid medical prescription and alterations to school uniforms or dresses were prohibited.

Students shall not wear chains, bangles, caps, or braces. Wearing of spectacles shall require a medical prescription.

No alterations to school uniforms or dress shall be allowed. Possession or use of un-prescribed attire by a student is an offence,” Ms. Eshun explained.

These guidelines, she said also extend to personal grooming, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a decent haircut as defined by school authorities.

Clean, neat, and modest hair is encouraged, with an emphasis on avoiding extreme styles and colours. For male students, she said a styled haircut and a clean-shaven beard are acceptable.

“Students should have a decent haircut as prescribed by the school authorities. Hair should be clean, neat, and modest, and avoid extremes in styles and colour. Men’s hair should be neatly struck and beard clean-shaven,” Ms Christable noted.


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