Press statement on the computerized school selection and placement system

Press statement on the computerized school selection and placement system

It is surprising to note that the number of students placed in some schools far exceeded the vacancies declared by the heads of institutions.  As a result of this, school administrators have been thrown into confusion as to who should be admitted.  Undoubtedly, this situation which has assumed alarming proportions has created fertile grounds for corruption leading to the emergence of “admission contractors” parading the corridors of endowed schools and extorting huge sums of money from parents of children who qualify and have already been placed.  It is further worrying that in some instances students who performed relatively better could not be placed in the schools of their choice.  Ironically, their counterparts who did not do so well are rather placed in the same schools. One is compelled to wonder if the criteria for selection and placement were adhered to.

 As if these are not enough, it is saddening that Government and the Ghana Education Service have permitted some school authorities to cash in on the situation by making demands on parents in the forms of paint, cement, plastic chair, cash and others.  NAGRAT appalls the practice whether it was done with or without the consent of parents, since such parents are currently vulnerable and desperate to do anything under duress to secure admission for their children.

With the (CSSPS) it is expected that selection and placement should be faster than the manual system.  The long delay in placing children this year therefore gives room for worry.  The fall out of this development is that pressure will be mounted on teachers to make up for the lost contact hours for almost one full term.  The pressure on teachers will further be compounded by over bloated class sizes which are likely to occur as a result of excesses in placement of children in some schools. The implications of excessive placement in certain schools will include deviance, health problems, weak class control and consequently poor performance.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • NAGRAT recommends that the Ghana Education Service and heads of schools collaborate to determine vacancies available for placement in each school.  The current practice of forcing headmasters to admit all students placed in their schools irrespective of vacancies is a sure recipe for failure and must be stopped with immediate effect.
  • The practice of making demands on parents in the form of material and cash is condemnable and must be stopped.  We recommend that government steps in to issue directives to stop the practice.
  • We call for investigation into the operation of the CSSPS to instill sanity and ensure that children are selected and placed purely on merit
  • The present dichotomy between endowed and less endowed schools is discriminatory against children and teachers posted to the less endowed schools.  Immediate steps must be taken by government and all stakeholders to bridge the gap by providing infrastructural facilities and other resources to uplift the less endowed schools and reduce the pressure on the few endowed ones.
  • While we call on government to provide facilities for less endowed schools, parents and children are also encouraged to accept placement in any school where they are placed to reduce the pressure on the heads of endowed schools.
  • NAGRAT further recommends that never again should we allow the release of placement to delay the way it did this year since it has far-reaching consequences on academic performance.
  • Finally we call on government to institute remedial measures to make up for the lost contact hours.

It is important that these issues are taken seriously and urgently addressed in the interest of quality education in Ghana.  If this clarion call is ignored and we continue to perpetuate inefficiencies as above, teachers will not be responsible for any unpleasant outcome.

 

STANISAUS P. NABOME

GENERAL SECRETARY

November 11, 2011

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UNRESOLVED GRIEVANCES OF THE STAFF OF THE GHANA EDUCATION SERVICE

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE TEACHERS (NAGRAT) - GHANA National Secretariat P. O. Box NM 329 Accra –Ghana 4th July, 2014

Tel:  233-0302-403454

www.nagrat.org E-mail:info@nagrat.org   THE CHAIRMAN NATIONAL LABOUR COMMISSION PRIVATE MAIL BAG ACCRA       THE CHAIRMAN GHANA EDUCATION SERVICE COUNCIL P. O. BOX M 45 ACCRA     Dear Sir,

 UNRESOLVED GRIEVANCES OF THE STAFF OF THE GHANA EDUCATION SERVICE

We write to complain about the way and manner government and the Ghana Education Service management have handled grievances of the staff of the service. From 2010 to date, the unions of the Ghana Education Service have raised concerns on grievances that have been left unresolved by the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service, the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and for that matter government. These grievances have been the major reasons behind various strikes, demonstration; and petitions, and yet their redress remains far from sight. Sir, you would recall that in May 2014 the grievances listed below caused the National Association of Graduate Teachers to serve notice of its intention of industrial action on the National Labour Commission and the subsequent declaration of industrial action. They are:
  1. Second Tier Pension Scheme
  2. Payment of Outstanding Incremental Credits for 2011 and 2012
  3. Non-payment of Transfer Grants and T&T Allowances to Teachers Transferred from 2010 to date
  4. Three (3) Months Pay Policy on Newly Recruited Staff, Promotions and Re-engagement
  5. Revision of WAEC Invigilation Allowances.
Consequent upon that industrial action, a meeting was convened between the government team and the Teacher Unions on 15th May, 2014 to resolve the issues relating to teachers of the Ghana Education Service. At the meeting various agreements were reached on the issues and a Communiqué signed. (Vide copy for your study and use). We wish to bring to your notice that government and the GES management have failed to adhere to the tenets of the Communiqué they signed. A case in point is that on the payments of not more than three (3) months’ salary arrears. The agreement is that District Directors of education would submit completed templates for payment of the remaining arrears to Regional Directors latest by 16th May, 2014 and that payment are expected by the end of June 2014. Sir, we are now in July and most of the templates are still at the District Directorates. Payments for those that have been submitted to headquarters have not been made. On transfer grants, the Communiqué mandated District Directors to collate data on qualified beneficiaries by end of May 2014. Stakeholders were to be invited upon receipt of the data for a verification and validation exercise for payments to be effected. We have moved through June to July, 2014 yet the Stakeholders’ meeting has not been convened. Needless to say, the verifications and validation exercise has not taken place and a date for payment not known. Closely linked to the payment of transfer grant is the staff deployment and rationalization exercise. Government and the GES management agreed to suspend the exercise and source funding for the payment of transfer grants and T&T of teachers transferred since 2010. As of now the outstanding grants and allowance have not been paid yet teachers are being transferred under the exercise Collection of data on teachers who were transferred has been done for the group of 2014 to the neglect of all those transferred from 2010 to 2013. On the strength of that Communiqué and the genuine desire to create the congenial climate for further negotiations, NAGRAT called off its strike on 21st May, 2014. On the same day, the National Labour Commission (NLC) invited the parties to a meeting aimed at resolving the grievances. It is pertinent to point out that while NAGRAT and the FWSC attended the meeting other parties namely the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations failed to honour the invitation. The NLC scheduled another meeting for 18th June, 2014. The National Labour Commission notwithstanding issued some directive to be responded to by 11th June, 2014 prior to the meeting of 18th June, 2014. (Please find copy attached) Sir, it is interesting to note that the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service which had invited NAGRAT to a meeting on that day postponed the meeting indefinitely when NAGRAT called off the strike. That meeting has not been reconvened to date. This is a clear indication of the lack of commitment of government and the GES management to resolving the grievances of the Ghana Education Service Staff. When National Officers of NAGRAT reported at the premises of the National Labour Commission on 18th June, 2014, they were told that the meeting had been postponed indefinitely. It is almost three (3) weeks now and the National Labour Commission has left the issues hanging without any communication with the leadership of the Association. Sir, teachers are getting increasingly convinced that their grievances are systematically trivialized. We want to state emphatically that should any unpleasant outcome occur, teachers will take no share of blame. Their patience has been stretched to the limit and the disquiet is becoming alarming.   Yours faithfully,     Stanislaus P. Nabome General Secretary Cc:
  1. The Honourable Minister,
Ministry of Education Accra
  1. The Honourable Minister
Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations Accra
  1. The Honourable Minster,
Ministry of Finance Accra
  1. The Chief Executive
Fair Wages and Salaries Commission Accra
  1. The Director General
Ghana Education Service Accra
  1. The General Secretary
Ghana National Association of Teachers Accra
  1. The General Secretary
Teacher and Educational Workers Union Accra
  1. The President
Coalition of Concerned Teachers Accra
  1. All Regional Chairmen,
NAGRAT Regional Secretariat