Teacher unions in the Western and Western North Regions have sworn to resist the passage of the Pre-Tertiary Education Bill in its current form.
The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Teachers & Educational Workers’ Union (TEWU), Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT-Ghana) and National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) are the unions kicking against the passage of the Bill currently before Parliament.
Addressing a press conference in Takoradi on Tuesday, 4th March 2020, the GNAT Chairman for the two Regions, Reverend Charles Akrowey Kaku, said the bill which did not involve the input of the teacher unions has the potential to affect the unified conditions of service among teachers and non-teaching staff due to its confused command structure.
He insisted that the approval of the Bill will hurt the modest gains made in the education sector.
“We the teacher unions, thus GNAT, NAGRAT, CCT-Ghana and TEWU in the Western and Western North Regions are of the considered opinion that education is the key to our national development and any attempt to introduce policies and legislations on education must be done with the active and express involvement of teachers who are the key stakeholders.”
“We call on the President to intervene so we can have a smooth labour front in the education sector because the Bills in its current form will distort the modest gains made in education. Some observations made on the Pre-Tertiary Education Bill show that the Bill as it currently stands seeks to seed the effective responsibility of the provision and management of the Basic schools to the District Assemblies.”
The teachers are of the view that the Bill, when passed, will see basic schools, Senior High Schools and Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) being managed by the District Assemblies, Regional Education Directorate and a Director-General independent of the Ghana Education Service.
“It also has the potential of distorting the unified condition of service we are using now.“
The teacher unions further said the negatives of the new bill outnumber the positives hence vowed to resist the passage of the bill if their concerns are not considered to address the danger it poses to the forward match of teachers and education.
“Under section 36 (1) of the bill; teachers employed at basic schools will on the coming into force of this Bill transferred to the Local Government Service.”
“Our question is; are Basic School teachers going to be civil servants or public servants? What kind of confusion are we creating for ourselves? From these points, it is clear that the bill would be dangerous to the teaching profession with the tendency of destroying the very fabric of the management arrangement of Ghana Education Service in the Country. We hereby sound that we would resist the passage of this Bill with all our myth as teachers to preserve the unified profession at the pre-tertiary education level and this is non-negotiable.“
The Western Regional Secretary of GNAT, Nicholas Taylor, in a Citi News interview said their concerns about the bill have do with the decentralization of appointments.
“The President of Ghana now even has to appoint Regional Director of Education and deputies, why? We have condition of service that stipulates that if you are at the rank of Director-One, you can be a Regional Director or Divisional Director, so if we are going to allow the President to appoint, you know in this country politics has become so much that they can appoint anybody at all to head any institution. We are saying that we wouldn’t sit down for anybody who hasn’t got any idea in education to be lording-over us.”