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Politics of Thursday, 29 November 2018

Source: Daniel Kaku

NPP government prefers to pay 110 non-performing Ministers than Lecturers - NDC

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Hohoe Constituency of the Volta Region has opined that the NPP government prefers to pay non-performing 110 Ministers than to pay the lecturers of the various Colleges of Education their market premium.

The members of the Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG) had their salaries frozen by government after they called a strike in protest over poor conditions of service.

The strike was declared on October 29, 2018 with the members hoping their issues on market premium and research allowance will be addressed by government.

But the government has described the strike as illegal and resolved not to pay them for the period they were out of the office.

It was however committed to sit with CETAG members to find an amicable solution to the problem.

It appears the decision has angered CETAG the more.

On Wednesday, the striking CETAG members in red armbands organised a press conference during which they called out the Education Ministry PRO accusing him of making factually inaccurate comments.

But addressing the the media in Hohoe, the NDC executives expressed their worry over the strike and the inability of this government to address the concern of the CETAG and indicated that the strike action has negatively affected the two Teacher Training Colleges especially the trainees in the area.

"We in the NDC are worried about the future of our young men and women. We are worried about the untold hardship brought on these lecturers as a result of the wickedness and the insensitivity of the NPP government in this matter. We are worried about the burden placed on the parents of these students who after paying huge amounts for school fees, will have them back at home with them", they bemoaned.

They added "just recently and still hanging around us is the very unpopular decision by the NPP government to force teachers to undertake a compulsory National Service upon completion of college."

"There is nothing wrong in serving the state but not under duress and a decision that was never part of the conditions spelt out to them when they were admitted to their various colleges of Education."

"We trust that this government has no ideas on how to find money to pay these young men and women if posted directly to their stations to start work after their out program segment".

Below is the full statement;

PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS (NDC) IN THE HOHOE CONSTITUENCY ON THE STATE OF GHANA'S EDUCATION 28th. NOVEMBER, 2018.

Good afternoon, friends from the media, college lecturers and students here present, the newly trained licensure teachers, ladies and gentlemen. We are very grateful to you for your swift response in spite of the short notice given you.

Education in any form they say is the bedrock of every nation's development and success. Ghana has one time held this assertion in high esteem.

It is sad to note today, that the story is not same with this NPP government and all those who seem to be managing our education sector.

We wish to bring to light the very disturbing situations that confront us as Ghanaians and particularly in the Hohoe Municipality in the education sector.

THE SAD OCCURRENCES IN COLLEGES OF EDUCATION NATIONWIDE

Hohoe as a Municipality has been directly hit by the sad happenings in the Colleges of Education. Hohoe can boast of two colleges of education whose contribution to the economy of Hohoe cannot be understated.

Our sons and daughters, sisters and brothers at St. Francis and St. Teresa's colleges of Education remain the unfortunate victims of the strike action by their lecturers (CETAG).

It is sad to note that a government that claims to be implementing in full, the tertiary status of colleges of education, seems to be selective in what will suit them for implementation.

The lecturers are only asking for their research and book allowances and market premium, legitimately so, just like others in other Tertiary Institutions.

A government that is moving at the speed of light to make very innocent grandaunts from these colleges to undertake National Service as part of the tertiary recognition, does not have the will power to fulfill the demands the lecturers as promised them in 2016.

Media men and women here present, it will interest you to note that a whole semester in the life of these young men and women has been thrown to the dogs by this disgracefully incompetent government. We were here in this country in the year 2016, when the then candidate of the New Patriotic Party and now the president; Nana Akuffo Addo announced to us that we were sitting on money yet we were suffering.

Don't ask me where then is the money, because every Ghanaian knows that NPP prefers to pay 111 non- performing ministers, pay over 1600 presidential staffers who ideal around the Flagstaff house, prepare a ministries budget at the cost Ghc800,000 and 2 million for the creation of a ministrys website, over 2 million cedis on a ministry's workshop and many many more will tell us where the money is going to.

The create, loot and keep for family and friends in this government is throwing off gear the running of the affairs of this nation and it's priority areas such as Education.

We in the NDC are worried about the future of our young men and women. We are worried about the untold hardship brought on these lecturers as a result of the wickedness and the insensitivity of the NPP government in this matter. We are worried about the burden placed on the parents of these students who after paying huge amounts for school fees, will have them back at home with them.

THE PLIGHT OF THE NEWLY TRAINED TEACHERS

Just recently and still hanging around us is the very unpopular decision by the NPP government to force teachers to undertake a compulsory National Service upon completion of college.

There is nothing wrong in serving the state but not under duress and a decision that was never part of the conditions spelt out to them when they were admitted to their various colleges of Education. We trust that this government has no ideas on how to find money to pay these young men and women if posted directly to their stations to start work after their out program segment.

The NPP government led by Akuffo Addo and Bawumia are continuing to show gross incompetence in the area of employment. These young men and women cannot be sure of postings to schools even after the National Service.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Education Service statistics available to us shows that close to 66,000 teachers are needed to fill all vacancies in basic schools in Ghana.

The corruption and nepotism of this NPP government is draining this country dry to the extent that, for the first time in the history of Ghana, even teachers cannot be posted directly to fill the huge vacancies available in basic schools. Let us not forget that colossal amounts of tax payers money have been invested in the training of these teachers.

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, another sad event about this same batch of the newly trained teachers is the so called licensure exams. The students were never given prior notice; they had no materials to study on and were made to write this examination under very harsh conditions.

Late last week, we heard the Dentist Education minister say, the results of the licensure exams were not encouraging for that matter, bad. We see all these as theatrics to eliminate and frustrate the well trained teachers from the job line to make way for NPP government to employ their party cronies who are untrained into the system through NABCO.

Most of this untrained NABCO teachers are being rejected in most schools they are sent to.

In fact, this government is behaving as if teachers and teacher trainees have offended them and for that matter, they have decided to teach them a lesson.

The Akufo-Addo and Bawumia allowances have now become a mirage in Colleges of education.

If the fundamentals of who you choose as your minister of Education are weak, the realities of his total incompetence and his insensitivity will expose you. If the fundamentals of the promises you made to teachers and teacher trainees are weak, the realities of the non-payment of the book and research allowances and the non-payment of teacher trainees allowances will expose you big time.

THE TEACHER UNDER FREE SHS

I heard the president say, he is very happy with what is happening in Senior High Schools today pertaining to the free SHS. Well, he has always been insensitive to the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian; he has never listened and does not care about the truth on the ground.

He has never been aware and care that when the green track batch was vacating to the house, they had to send the chop boxes, trunks, and mattresses back home to make room for the gold track batch. This ordeal awaits the second years with the next arrangement.

Nana Addo does not know that the contact hours with the students in some key subject areas such as Social Studies have been reduced.

Nana Addo is satisfied because he is supplying 9 out of the 18 exercise books that are required for the students to use.

In fact, he is very satisfied because there are cries all over the country from schools for infrastructure development yet he has not provided a single one.

NPP government has engaged in so much propaganda in the education sector to the extent that they have forgotten, they are in government and time is catching up with them.

We want to ask, where are the 8,000 teachers the government said it has employed to handle the gold track batch? Today the Senior high school teacher is worse of; those who are supposed to be on break now are still in their schools handling the gold track batch.

Those practicing the direct semester system and are teaching the 3rd years will have to remain in school from the 4th of January, 2019 till the students write their exams starting from March. If you are not lucky and you happen to be teaching the lower classes as well, forget about vacation.

This is because the 1st and the 2nd years will have been back to school. Unfortunately, the teacher has no motivation package at least for their sacrifice and hard work. This is what the NPP government has turned our teachers into.

The next NDC government come 2021, will focus greatly on the welfare of the teacher in all educational policy directions. The teacher will be pivotal in the QUALITY FREE EDUCATION that this country needs. NDC will not compromise in any form, the quality, the accessibility and the affordability of education at all levels to the Ghanaian child.

Meanwhile, with all the above occurrences in our education sector in the country today, we are calling on the Christian council of Ghana, civil society organizations, think tanks, NGOs in the Education sector, Teacher Unions, Trade Unions and all well-meaning Ghanaians to speak up in defends of our education sector for the sake of the future generations.