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Colloquium on Quality Education

BACKGROUND:
 

In 2012 the United Nations (UN) initiated a process to shape the global development agenda, building on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as their 2015 end date approaches. To Coordinate System-wide preparations for a new development framework in Consultation with all Stakeholders, the Secretary General established the UN System Task Team on the post 2015 UN Development Agenda. As part of the Process, the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda was convened to provide advice on the new global development framework.

 In the process the United Nations MY WORLD 2015 GLOBAL SURVEY was conducted. In the Survey, people selected their top six priorities out of 16 areas, covering such issues as education, water and sanitation, gender equality and health. Out of 850,000 participants from 194 countries, 584, 329 participants chose a good education as the top priority for the Post 2015 agenda. Recognizing that education features prominently in the other 10 thematic consultations, NAGRAT has decided to organize this colloquium to solicit-ideas from prominent persons in academia, civil society organizations and other stakeholders on the topic. There are still lingering questions that ought to be addressed and these include:

  1. how the Education for All (EFA) goals, and MDGs 2 and 3, supported progress in education and equity and what the remaining gaps and new issues are  
  2. what the key Policy options and responses at the local, national and international levels in the Post 2015 development agenda are
  3. how Consensus can be established on the best way to present education training and learning in the Post 2015 development framework
  4. how progress towards education quality and equality can be measured; what goals and targets need to be identified; and how government accountability can be implemented.

 
NAGRAT as a teacher Union believes that Education is a fundamental human right in itself as well as an enabling right, fostering the accomplishment of all other social, cultural, economic, civil and political rights. It is for this reason that we think regardless of the structure the Post-2015 agenda may take, education must claim an explicit goal focusing on equity, access and quality learning. Accordingly, “Equitable, Quality Education and Lifelong Learning for All” is proposed as the overarching goal for education. It is expected that this goal will enable all societies to develop the skills, knowledge and innovation needed to overcome current and future political, economic, technology, health, and environmental challenges and to ensure that the issue of Education becomes a priority in the Post 2015 agenda.

 Many institutions like Education International, UNESCO and The Office of the UN Envoy for education (Mr. Gordon Brown) have plunged into works focusing not only on access but also on quality education to be considered as priority in the post 2015 Agenda.

Education International, for instance, has launched a “Unite for Quality Education Campaign” to lobby government representatives who will be attending the UN General Assembly in New York on the 25th of September 2014.

 This colloquium will help shape public opinion and help the government of Ghana in taking a position reflective of the views of broader stakeholders in the education sector.

 It is expected that this colloquium will come out with practical suggestions that can be incorporated into the principles for the Post 2015 education agenda.   

                                                                                                                                        

Date : 29th August, 2014
Time : 9:00am
Venue: British Council Auditorium.

RSVP: Samuel Quansah Ofei – 0267804299/0272407338
Bernice Lartey – 0201979297
E-mail – info@nagrat.org
Note: Participation is strictly by invitation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Speakers / Presenters

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August 12, 2014

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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