Effective November 4, 2022, three teacher unions in the country began an industrial action over their disapproval of the appointment of Dr. Eric Nkansah as the acting Director General of Ghana Education (GES).
The unions are the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana.
Appointment of Dr. Nkansah as GES boss:
After the termination of the contract of Prof Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa as the GES boss on October 18, 2022, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo appointed Dr. Eric Nkansah to act as the new Director-General of the Ghana Education Service.
His appointment took effect on Wednesday, October 19, 2022.
The appointment, according to a statement signed by Secretary of the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante, is in consonance with Section 19 (1), (2) (a) and (b) of the Pre-Tertiary Education Act, 2020 (Act 1049).
“Pursuant to Section 19 (1), (2) (a) and (b) of the Pre-Tertiary Education Act, 2020 (Act 1049), I am pleased to inform you that the President has appointed you to act as the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (the “Service”) pending receipt of the constitutionally required advice of the governing Council of the Service, given in consultation with the Public Services Commission.
“Your appointment Is effective October 19, 2022. I take this opportunity to congratulate you formally on your appointment. Kindly indicate your acceptance or otherwise of this appointment, within 14 days of receipt of this letter,” the letter read in part.
Why teacher unions want Dr. Nkansah out
Following this appointment, the President of NAGRAT, Angel Carbonou, addressed a press conference in Accra to express the disappointment of the union and its allies in the new appointment.
According to the association, Dr Eric Nkansah is a banker who has no background in teaching, hence the reason they are rejecting his appointment.
He added that the appointment of the banker comes as a surprise as he is also a special assistant in the office of the minister.
“What annoyed and surprised all of us was that a new Director General has been appointed to the Ghana Education Service.
“The authority to appoint Director General of GES is the President of the land. Unfortunately, contrary to what the teacher unions indicated that we would want a Director General who is a professional teacher who has passed through the mill and can bring his knowledge, skills and influence to bear on the activities of teachers and non-teachers in the GES.
“Contrary to that, the gentleman who was appointed yesterday is not a teacher; he is a banking officer who was a special assistant in the office of the minister and has been appointed as the DG of the GES. We are not happy with this development; it is as of we don’t have professionals and well-educated people who have gone through the mill in education in this country to run education,” the association said at the press conference.
Striking teacher unions boycott day two of meeting with government:
After declaring a nationwide strike following the appointment of Dr Eric Nkansah by President Akufo-Addo as the Director General of the Ghana Education Service, the government and the unions held their first meeting on the matter on Monday, November 7, 2022.
“I can tell you on authority that so far, so good, we have had a very constructive meeting. The parties have agreed to adjourn and resume tomorrow 2 PM to continue with the deliberations.
“We have not ended the meeting; the agreement here is that the two parties have agreed that we should adjourn and resume tomorrow 2 PM,” the president of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Rev. Isaac Owusu, told the media after the meeting on Monday.
However, the unions are said to have boycotted the second day of the meeting after it emerged that the government had lodged a complaint with the NLC over the industrial action by the labour unions.
The strike continues today.