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General News of Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Source: GNA

Pre-tertiary education bill will break unified educational arrangement - Teacher Unions

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Pre-tertiary Teacher Education Unions in the Central Region have re-echoed calls on Parliament to suspend discussions on its bill to allow for further and deeper stakeholder consultation, and said it is non-negotiable.

It cautioned of an imminent break down of the education structure in the country should the pre-tertiary education bill laid before parliament be passed into law.

The Unions including the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Coalition of Concern Teachers (CCT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT)and Tertiary Education Workers Union (TEWU).

The Bill according to the Teacher Unions, sought to cede effective responsibility for the provision and management of basic schools to the District Assemblies and the management of the Senior High Schools to the Regional Coordinating Council.

Additionally, the Head of the Local Government Service would appoint Heads and Staff of the District Education unit as well as be responsible for promotion, transfer, discipline and dismissal of staff of the District Education Unit, under section 31 of the Bill.

Speaking at a press conference in Cape Coast on Tuesday, Mr Boadu Abedi William, Regional Secretary of GNAT indicated that the Bill, if allowed to go through in its current state, would break the existing unified educational arrangement in the country.

He said the Bill was dangerous to the teaching profession and had the tendency of destroying the very fabric of the Ghana Education Service to serve the interest of politicians should it be passed into law.

“It also has the potential of distorting the unified condition of service we are using now, as the various MMDCES will develop their independent Conditions of Service, which may not be in the best interest of our members”.

“We hereby sound the caution that we would resist the passage of this Bill with all our legitimate might and strength as teachers, to preserve the unified teaching profession on the pre-tertiary level and this is non-negotiable”, he added

Mr Abedi William further stated that under sections25(2) and 26(2) of the Bill, the President shall appoint Regional Directors and their Deputies and determine their terms and conditions of service while preparation, administration and control of budgetary allocations of the Basic Schools would be determined by the District Assembly.

Mr Augustine Pennin, Regional Chairman of NAGRAT said the destiny of the Country could not be left into the hands of some few politicians to toy with its education, which was a serious enterprise that needed to be handled with seriousness.

He said the GES had effective appointment system in place and therefore it was “unreasonable” to allow the President to appoint Regional Education Directors and their deputies.

Rev. Isaac Owusu, Regional Chairman of GNAT expressed disappointment that the President in his recent State of the Nation address declared his support for the Bill.

He said teachers could not depend on the composite budgets of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies for their salaries when the MMDAs were struggling to develop their areas.