PRESS CONFERENCE BY UNIONS IN THE PRE-TERTIARY EDUCATION -GHANA (GNAT, NAGRAT, TEWU & CCT-GH)

PRESS CONFERENCE BY UNIONS IN THE PRE-TERTIARY EDUCATION -GHANA (GNAT, NAGRAT, TEWU & CCT-GH)

PRESS CONFERENCE BY UNIONS IN THE PRE-TERTIARY EDUCATION -GHANA

(GNAT, NAGRAT, TEWU & CCT-GH)

Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media,

We have assembled you here to inform you of the current development on the education front, as critical stakeholders of the education enterprise, and you are the reliable medium by which the Ghanaian public would be informed of the said development.

We are aware of how Ghanaians are hailing the implementation of the free SHS education policy. We endorse this initiative because it aims at the mass of Ghanaian Children acquiring free secondary education, and in effect easing parents of their financial burdens, the government is at the same time stealthily bent on implementing what it has christened the Ghana Partnerships Schools (GPS) Project, effective September 2019.

The drama behind this, is the perception that teachers are to blame for the low quality of public education in this country.

Here are the major features of the GPS project;

The project would be operated in the Ashanti, Northern, Central and Greater Accra Regions. A total of a hundred (100) schools would be selected. These schools should have KG, Primary and JHS, and at least three-hundred (300) students enrolled across classes. The schools selected should not have any immediate need for infrastructural development or rehabilitation. The funding would be sourced from a World Bank IDA and Global Partnership in Education (GPE) as loans and grants respectively.

Unfortunately per the budget statement of 2019, government has secured funding to support the private operators, instead of the public schools (see paragraph 814, pg. 162, of the Budget Statement for 2019).

An aspect of this policy empowers the private operator to decide to work or not to work with the GES staff. Under the project, transfer of GES staff will not attract transfer grants and school heads will not be maintained automatically by the private operator; the operators have the liberty to invite people from within or outside the GES to manage the schools.

This is against the spirit and letter of our Collective Agreements with the Ghana Education Service and the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651). We wish to remind government of the preamble to our Collective Agreements which enjoins the parties not to be anti-union or anti-management but rather recognize and agree to promote trust, respect, fairness and endeavor to uphold these virtues in their policies and standards.

The project is purported to run for three years after which it may be institutionalized permanently. We wish to note that the MOE/GES is collaborating with ARK – an international consortium to implement this project. Already the MOE and the Consultants (ARK) have held a three-day workshop with an intention to finalize the draft report for the implementation of the project.In all these endeavours, the major stakeholders, GNAT, NAGRAT, TEWU and CCT-GH. have not been involved in the two-year planning of the project. We find this unfortunate and unacceptable.

Our friends from the Media,

The Unions find the GPS Project a subtle and eventual privatization, commercialization and commodification of public education in Ghana with the approval of Government. We are amazed that the government would be trumpeting the implementation of free secondary education policy only to turn round to institute education for the highest bidder policy at the basic level (KG, Primary and JHS), to the consternation  of Ghanaian parents and we hereby protest vehemently against it and call for its abolition.

 

According to the 2014 National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Citizens’ Assessment Report on the Capitation Grant Scheme (page 18), head-teachers rely on direct borrowing to keep the schools running, with the hope to redeeming their indebtedness as soon as the capitation grant is released. The Unions wish to reiterate that government is obligated under the laws of Ghana to provide each school with competent staff, adequate resources, teaching and learning materials and allied logistics and put in a proper and effective system of supervision to ensure the required quality education delivery.  We challenge government to put this in place, instead of privatizing school management to achieve the desired results.

Ladies and gentlemen, the way to go is not privatization whether opened or veiled (as under the GPS project), but the supply of adequate resources and timely releases of the capitation grant so that school heads would not resort to, or rely on direct borrowing to run the schools. This is what the Government should do; if it fails the heads would run the schools as they are and they should not be held responsible for any lapses or aberrations in the schools. (See pg. 19, 2014 Citizens’ Assessment Report on the Capitation Grant Scheme, NDPC)

 

As we speak today the Capitation Grants for 2018/19 academic year has not been released to the schools.

 

Again, between the periods 2012 to 2017 the Government of Ghana failed to release subventions due the District Directorates of Education in the country. It was in 2018 that an amount of twenty-six thousand Ghana Cedis (GH₵ 26,000) was released to each of the District Directorates. Even with that, some districts did not get the full amount. This was after the Unions had fought tirelessly for it. How then, should the districts and for that matter, District Directors of Education and their staff be blamed, for the failure of the employer to provide resources needed for effective monitoring and supervision of teaching and learning in the schools?

 

We therefore call on government to release the subventions due the District Directorates of Education on time to enable them undertake supervision as required and expected of them, and see whether the anticipated teaching and learning outcomes would not be attained!

Conclusion

In conclusion, we make reference to the “2014 National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Citizens’ Assessment Report on the Capitation Grant Scheme (page 63)” which calls on Government to;

(1) Increase the numbers of qualified GES staff in the schools.

(2) Increase GES staff pay, with particular attention to deprived areas, to serve as an incentive to them, to give off their best.

(3) Improve the relevance of the curriculum.

We wish to state that the GES staff are also parents with best wishes and intents for their children and students. Government should therefore not look down on us, hold us in contempt nor reduce us to zombies and docile teachers, who should take instructions from policy formulators.

The shirking of Government’s responsibility to basic education and the well-being of teachers as contained in the 2014 NDPC Report as indicated earlier has occasioned not only the unnecessary condemnations, insults and mudslinging being thrown at teachers constantly by the Chairman of the same NDPC, but also the intention of Government to implement the GPS Project.

We again challenge government to provide all the required logistics needed for quality public education and address the needs of staff, and see whether or not public education would not be lifted to the desired level.  Privatization, Commercialization and Commodification are not the answer to the provision of quality public education.

We, the Unions in pre-tertiary education, are against privatization, commercialization and commodification of public education in no uncertain terms and hereby serve notice to this effect. Failure to abolish the project will leave the unions with no option than to marshal our forces to resist this Ghana Partnerships Schools (GPS) Project.

Thanks for honouring our invitation and hope you will carry the message and concerns to the government and the Ghanaian public.

Thank you

 

David Ofori Acheampong, General Secretary, GNAT  ………………….

(0244646216)

Eric Angel Carbonu, President, NAGRAT                      ………………….

(0244665065)/(0244588963)

 

Peter K. Lumor, National Chairman, TEWU                             …………………..

(0244836284)/(0243155066)

 

Patrick Sackey, Deputy General Secretary, CCT-GH   ……. ……. … .. . (0245533090)/(0208967598)

 

DATE: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2019

https://nagrat.org/press-conference…grat-tewu-cct-gh/

February 26, 2019

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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