Today, as I sat under my normal tree to think and reflect on my life, a sudden feeling of pain came upon me as teachers in this part of the world came to mind. Unlike other countries where teachers are well motivated and encouraged to do their best, this is the other way around. Suddenly, I became annoyed by the unjust treatment of teachers in Ghana. It’s the feeling that pushed me to vigorously lace these words together to bring home my take on the wilful ill-treatment of the teachers in the full glow of the representatives of the three teachers’ unions.
Before I dive deeply into the origins and pathogenesis of the above-mentioned topic, let me say that I sincerely owe you an apology if my diction does not go well with you either as a leader or as a politician. Indeed, it is a bare truth that teachers in Ghana are the majority in comparison to any other occupation. Meanwhile, teaching, as some schools of thought have stipulated, is not yet a full career. It is still a developing profession based on a number of key factors. I’m going to thoroughly dive into that on the next day. But today, my emphasis is on how teachers are handled poorly by their own leaders and politicians in this country. It’s not for nothing that a multitude of people wanted to be a teacher.
Gone are the days when teachers have been highly esteemed and taken seriously everywhere they find themselves. Teachers relied heavily on parents to turn the lives of their stubborn and arrogant children. Today, when I write, it’s the other way around. Teachers are seen as smiling stalks. Students are disrespecting their teachers on human rights grounds. Our own conventional methods of raising our children have been dumped into the gutters. Good to save Ghana.
The teacher-student population in Ghana some years ago was very disheartening and that resulted in the institution of some privileges to encourage more people to go into this partial profession. Examples of such benefits are; trainee’s allowances, study leave with pay, transfer grants, car maintenance allowance etc. Of course, there was no clear-cut dichotomy between the teaching profession and the nursing profession in terms of the benefits cited above. The only difference was that unlike the nurses, teachers were easily given study leave with pay to further their education. This used to happen after a teacher has taught for two years in a deprived area and three years in urban areas. These are the rights and privileges of the Ghanaian teacher. Now I’m going to focus on study leave with pay which is teachers’ greatest privilege in GES.
Here I would want to seek answers to these questions. Do these privileges still exist? How effective are they to teachers of recent times? Hmmmmm. Are there enough teachers in the classrooms? What is government doing to improving upon the standard and the numerical strength of teachers in the country? Do teachers have leaders? And if they have, are they concern about the welfare the teachers?
In fact, these were some of the questions that were running through my mind as I sat under the tree to think through and reflect on certain issues. Now let me put it on records that the rapidly falling standard of education in the country is largely caused by leadership crisis. Of course, I am not unaware that education is a collective responsibility and we all have a role to play.
Now let me journey you through the reason why I am blaming leadership for the falling standard of education in Ghana. Gone are the days when we had selfless, committed and dedicated leaders who were very patriotic to mother Ghana. Today, however, the definition of a leader seemed to have been changed by those occupying the positions now as leaders of the teacher unions that is GNAT, NAGRAT and CCT. In my own perspective, I realised that leadership has been redefined to mean caring for oneself with other people’s resources at their detriment. It also means filling ones stomach at the expense of others. I guess you are not confused with these definitions? Going forward, the leaders of the three teacher unions have of late represent everything useless because of their parochial interest and personal convictions. They have allowed the politicians to play ostrich with them and they in turn are playing ostrich with the poor teachers. Teachers across the country are complaining bitterly each passing day about their unpaid arrears yet these stomach seeking leaders of the three teacher unions cannot fight for their subjects. How should they be brand either than useless? They are there with their mouths shut with Tom-brown. And if they mean to talk, they would be choked by the Tom-brown in their mouths. While they pretend to be working for their subjects, politicians play on their intelligence to compromise a lot of things that were not supposed to be compromised.
It is categorically stated as one of the rights to their conditions of service that each teacher has the right to further his/her education having served for two or three years depending on where the teacher is teaching. Teachers also have the privilege to be given study with pay for further studies. As we speak, all these rights and privileges are being taken away gradually by politicians yet the leaders of the teacher still cannot talk. Now before a teacher can further his education, he must teach for three/ four years as against two/three years some years ago. Leadership didn’t see anything wrong with that. Currently, a circular is out indicating that a teacher must teach for seven/eight years before furthering his education. Leadership is still quiet. The other issue is upgrading and salary adjustment. Upgrading and salary adjustment used to be done as soon as one completed another level of education. Teachers are told to wait till they are taught for seven years. Leadership still sees nothing wrong with that. Are the teachers not being cheated? Are they not being maltreated? Yet people sit down and blame teachers for poor academic performance.
Are the leaders of these three teacher unions actually working for their subjects? All I know about them is deducting dues, giving loans, taking other deductions such as cancer fund, mutual fund, and teachers’ fund inter alia. Is that the core mandate of these teacher unions? What i know about leadership is to seek your follower’s welfare. Leaders are to serve but now it is the contrary. They are being served by their followers rather than serving their followers. I want to believe that these leaders do not have a guilty conscience because having one will compel them to submit to the moral verdict of self-guilty. God save teachers! Now, how are we going to get teachers for our senior high schools if teachers would only be given the chance to further their education after teaching seven/eight years? Has the government forgotten that there are still some subject areas without teachers? Even most of the teachers in our senior high schools are not qualified to teach the subjects they are teaching there. If you challenge me, go to some of the senior high schools and see how some teachers fumble with their subjects. What are you talking of? We have people from UDS teaching English, Mathematics, Science including other subjects that they didn’t learn in the school yet they are handling those subjects in the senior high schools all because there are no qualified teachers to handle those courses yet you are implementing this weird policy.
Politicians in this part of the world are so much enthused with amassing wealth for their immediate family and generation yet unborn. Very interesting! No wonder Trump referred to them as ‘shitholes’. Is it logic for someone to be craving relentlessly for wealth when he cannot even give birth? I am not surprise at all, why we have so many unhappy millionaires in this country. Donald Trump was very frank when he hit the nail direct on the head. It was only a wakeup call to African leaders to undo their wicked and barbaric ways of acquiring wealth. Why would you want to build a mansion for your child who is yet to borne? How sure are you that the child will grow up to like that house? Of course I’m not naive about planning or saving for the future but that should be done in a genuine manner. We must not rob or dupe others in order to save for our children or families yet to born. That is barbaric and uncultured.
Let me repeat what I said earlier, our leaders are heavily to be blamed for the speedily falling standard of education cum the retarded development of this country. It is abundantly clear that politicians deliberately create loopholes in the systems to siphon the tax payer’s money for their personal aggrandizement. This is so glaring for everyone to see. As they pretend to show concern on our children’s education, how many of the politicians have their wards in government schools? No wonder it bothers them just little to provide the necessary equipment needed to facilitate effective teaching and learning in the government schools. Also, the politicians pretentiously assume the posture of overly caring for our health, may I know again how many of them attend or send their sick children to hospitals in Ghana? Come on! It is about time ordinary Ghanaians started uniting to press home our legitimate rights in full. Why wouldn’t I applaud Trump’s use of ‘shitholes’ on us? The growing appetite for virtually everything of foreign has qualified us to be seen as ‘shitholes’. Now let’s consider this before condemning Trump. When late Pro. Mills was sick any our hospitals was not sufficiently equipped to treat him. President Nana goes to America to seek quality health care. When Samira Bawumia was due to give birth, she traveled to America to be delivered. Bawumia is currently in UK seeking quality health care delivery. So what makes you think Trump insulted us? He was only being truthful with us. Now do you think that if their leaders were like you (Ghanaian leaders) who are self-centered, they would have had quality hospitals there for you to seek treatment? If they were like you, do you think they would have built those magnificent schools for you to send your children there? Trump’s insult is not for all of us but our leaders who are sold out to everything foreign. Of course there is no moral equivalence between what our leaders do promise and what they do. It is absolutely preposterous. We need to rethink as a people if not we will continue to be in this quagmire of abject poverty and premature death. We have a sacrosanct responsibility to collectively and unison, transform this country but this cannot be done without quality education. I am of the view that when one live is transformed by education, it has the propensity to affect generations. This can be achieved if our leaders in general, desist from endlessly parading themselves and parroting irrelevances aimed at cajoling their subjects or followers to believing in to them..
Godly speaking, there is something Ghanaians don’t critical look at which is affecting only we the ordinary people. Our leaders are always exonerated in anything disastrous, be it poor academic performance or poor health delivery. Usually we are the people who suffer the most hence the need to think through and come out with a common agenda. It is in this spirit that I think Ghanaians would have for once undo political connotations from issues concerning education and health so that we the ordinary citizens who suffer enormously in these areas, will invariably and unanimously speak with one voice against every government that wants to mess up our future as far as our education and health are concerned. There is a saying that when spider webs unite, they tie up a lion. So I believe strongly that we can achieve this as a people if indeed we are interested in our welfare.
In conclusion, it is just commonsensical and proper that our leaders sincerely consider the interest of the larger population over their personal interest. I want to call on ordinary Ghanaians to team up and let us stop the politicians from playing on our intelligence more especially when it comes to our education and health systems. I am also making a clarion call on GNAT, NAGRAT and CCT to step up their fight against government initiatives that are inimical to the progress of teachers. Our leaders must ensure that quality education is given to the citizens. I am sure if this is done, government will stop spending money on sanitation, malaria, etc because quality education is the panacea to all the problems we are facing as a country.
1996-Year Group Of Amosu Hands Over Project To School
1996-Year Group Of Amosu Hands Over Project To School
The 1996-year group of Assin Manso Old Students Union (AMOSU), has handed over a well-furnished domestic bursar’s office to augment the numerous infrastructure deficit of the school in the Central Region.
The construction of the GH¢35,000 project, has transformed the compound into a beautiful site.
The Reverend Father Eric Ngetea Kabeniah, Chairman of the 1996-year group, said the construction of a domestic bursar’s office was long overdue, so the group out of love for the school honoured the call
The handing-over ceremony coincided with the 57th Founder’s Day celebration of the school.
He said their alma mater provided them with the best tuition and moral training that made them responsible citizens for the country.
Rev. Kabeniah, encouraged and advised the students to take their studies seriously and expressed joy about the good behaviour of the students when the group visited the school.
In turn, he applauded the teachers for their hard work, teaching the students good moral values and preparing students to meet emerging challenges of digitisation.
Mr Eric Nyarko, the headmaster of the school who received the keys to the building expressed profound gratitude to the 1996-year group who had been supporting the school.
He assured the group that they would take good care of the facility for longevity.
He also appealed to other year groups who were yet to get on board to emulate their kind gesture and advised year groups currently sponsoring projects for the school to intensify their support.
Mr Emmanuel Appiah-Kubi, Chairman of the Parent-Teacher Association of the school lauded the efforts of the 1996-year group and appealed for more.
Assin Manso Senior High School was established in November 1965 to serve the Assin South District of the Central Region but has become one of the best schools in the Region.
Currently the population of the school is about 3,000 with a teaching staff strength of about 200 and 75 non- teaching staff.
256 Teachers Sue GES Over Promotional Exams Failure
256 Teachers Sue GES Over Promotional Exams Failure
A teacher in a secondary school explain by means of graphics the fundamental of economics.
Some 256 teachers have sued the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Attorney General over their mass failure in the December 2021 promotional examinations.
The teachers, who are on the Assistant Director Grade II position, sat for the Assistant Director Grade I promotion examination at the Ada Training College Centre.
Mr James Enu, counsel for the applicants (teachers), told the Ghana News Agency that none of the 256 teachers, who wrote the exams at that centre passed, adding that, such an occurrence was bizarre.
Mr Enu said even though the applicants petitioned the GES to investigate the issue, they were informed that nothing untoward was found in the circumstances leading to their failure.
He said the applicants, however, believed that the GES did not conduct any investigations into the issue, therefore, he wrote on behalf of his clients to the Service to request for their scripts and scores, but no response was received to that effect.
He added that it was also worrying that the pass mark for the exams was not disclosed to the candidates before they sat for it but rather, they were informed after the examination that they had all failed the paper.
He said it was based on these that the applicants took legal action against the GES seeking the court to set aside the results of the exam and order GES to furnish the applicants with their exams scores and scripts, as well as put an injunction on the defendant to prevent them from organizing other exams until the determination of the case.
Mr Oheneba Akyea Mensah, representatives of the teachers, said the issue had affected them psychologically, emotionally, and physically making it difficult for them to properly discharge their duties as teachers.
Mr Mensah said during the exams some of the applicants did not have index numbers and were asked to use their staff numbers, adding that one was also absent while another got involved in an accident but all of them were declared as failed.
He said they wanted to set a precedence as this was not the first time such incidents have occurred.
Meanwhile, the Tema High Court ‘B’ presided over by Justice Emmanuel Ankamah, has set December 12, 2022, for the movement of the application.
Here Is Why Teacher Unions Want New GES Boss Out
Here Is Why Teacher Unions Want New GES Boss Out
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.
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