Feature Article of Thursday, 1 March 2012
Columnist: Asare, Noah Dugubrame
Long before the deputy director of GES, Charles Tsegah will impose this ban on teachers to prevent them from participating in the all important exercise of Biometric Registration as ceremonially requested by the Electoral commission I had seen it coming.
I can say with confidence that before the electoral commission applied for the release of the teachers to participate in this exercise, it had already been agreed between the EC, GES and the Mills administration that the teachers should be legally prevented from participating in the exercise to give way for the ruling party to push his favorites into that area to prepare way for the massive rigging planned in the up coming election.
Since the inception of the NDC in office, there has been some frictions between the NDC and the Teaching body within the GES. The frictions however were put in motion by the NDC to give them the opportunity to politicise the all important National institution into another arm of theirs in order to make way for their influence there. First time in the History of Ghana and the Ghana Education Service a Director-General of the GES was dismissed from his post before he could complete his four year term. He is the in the person of Mr Bannerman Mensah. After his election in 2007 this Mills led NDC sent him parking by first asking him to proceed on leave. He is the first D-G of GES to have been sent home in the middle of his term.
We all also remember how teachers were tear-gassed and manhandled by police when they dared demonstrate against the delayed passing on unto the Single Spine Salary Structure. Teachers were one of the highest promised working force by the then candidate Mills who said he was a teacher and therefore knew the plights of teachers and would make sure they are comfortable when elected president. The teachers got disappointed when all the talks were not materialized. Not just that but even preparations already began by the erstwhile NPP for them like the SSSS were unduly delayed. From those times we began to hear how some teachers removed the president's portraits from their classrooms and how their students had started answering Akuffo Addo when asked who was the president of Ghana.
Finally when the teachers were migrated unto the new salary scheme, the outcry of the teachers reached every corner of Ghana when they argued on how a post Secondary Trained Teacher could receive the less salary than a JSS leaver working as immigration, Fire or Police officer. All said and done it is established that the majority of teachers are not happy with this government.
The NDC in it's calculation have seen that if they want to manipulate the Biometric Voter Register teachers are not the right people to use . As I Have indicated they not seem to be the best of terms with Mills and his boys.
But any rigging of 2012 will be at the registration and not the voting day. This is the time registration of minors, foreigners and double registered candidates can find their way through. If the register is successfully manipulated, rigging the election will be done without so much suspicion.
Teachers form the largest working force in our country. The record have stood that they can be one of the most neutral worker when it comes to electioneering duties. And obviously every teacher is literate and can easily understand whatever they will be thought in relation to this registration exercise. Moreover most teachers have engaged in registration exercises before and will find it easier just advancing to the Biometric type. Banning the from this duty is very questionable and suspicious. They stand as the most fit for the job. Preventing them from assisting in this crucial exercise has many implications which need be checked.
President Mills, his NDC, Charles Tsegah and all the NDC elements put in place within the Ghana Education Service have successfully made teachers' engagement in electoral registration illegal. This again is the first of it's kind. The intention is clear, to make way for them(NDC) to recruit some scrupulous half educated individuals who will turn the register upside down to favor their campaign to win 2012 "by all means" as declared in Shai Hills.
All the opposition parties must unite and force the GES to release the teachers to carry out the registration or forget a free and fair election void of fraud and violence in December. Fraud because the recruitment intended to be done by the EC in collaboration with the NDC as agreed at Shai hills will be aimed at selecting partizan people in favor of the NDC to make way for the grand scheme of rigging the December general elections. And Violence because when Cheating is noticed those feeling cheated won't look on unconcerned and that can bring dire consequences upon all of us.
God bless our homeland Ghana!
Noah Dugubrame Asare. Frankfurt, Germany.