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General News of Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Reverse La PRESEC headmaster’s transfer – NAGRAT

The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has asked government to reverse the transfer of headmaster of the La Presbyterian Senior High School, Samuel Salamat, if he was removed for exposing challenges in his school to the media.

Mr. Salamat has been transferred to the head office of the Ghana Education Service for asking parents to pay GHc80 to procure plastic chairs for first year students, who had benefited from government’s free Senior High School education policy.

Earlier reports suggested that, he was transferred because his action was seen as sabotage of government’s much-hyped free SHS education policy, and for speaking to the media about the school’s challenges.

But clarifying the issue on the Citi Breakfast Show on Wednesday, a Deputy Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum explained that Mr. Salamat was transferred not because he spoke to the media.

He said, “If you are charging fees you want parents to pay, of course not, it’s not approved. We’ve given you resources and you have development levy which is contributions that were supposed to be made by parents. If you need anything, you can use part of the development levy to do that. Why do you have to go to the parents and ask them to pay something that the government has already paid? Nobody condones any behaviour or whatsoever that will punish any headmaster for talking to the media,” he added.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, the incoming President of NAGRAT, Angel Carbonu, argued that such transfers will make headteachers numb.

“What is going to happen is that, a lot of head teachers will be numbed and they will sit on the fence. They will not talk to anyone, they will not expose their problems and challenges to anyone, they will not get help, and at the end of the day, it is our boys and girls whom we have sent to school that will be suffering. If Mr. Salamat has been transferred because of the exposé at La PRESEC we are very unhappy about that, and want that transfer reversed,” Mr. Carbonu said.

Mr. Salamat had earlier been interdicted together with 18 other headmasters of second cycle schools nationwide for charging unapproved fees during the initial stages of the free SHS policy in September 2017.

Mr. Carbonu said such actions are not good for the running of government owned educational institutions the country.

“You will realize that because of the announcement that 19 head teachers have been interdicted, all heads of schools, I can assure you, have gone into the state of comatose…and that when you go there to find out about normal issues, they would not want to talk else they are transferred or victimized. If we push education to that level, we are all going to suffer for it,” he added.

Plight of La PRESEC students

The La PRESEC school was recently in the news for allegedly levying fresh students about GHs 80 to purchase plastic chairs to be used by the students due to the deplorable state of the existing ones.

The action generated public criticism with many accusing the headmaster, Samuel Salamat, of sabotaging the government’s Free SHS policy, but when Citi News visited the school, the situation was indeed dire.

Students spent the day seated on cement blocks and wooden boards due to the non-existence of desks in the school.

The situation, which was highlighted by the Citi News’ Anass Seidu attracted the CEO of McDan Shipping Company, Daniel Makorley, to donate 100 desks as a first tranche of donations to improve the school’s learning infrastructure.