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Opinions of Friday, 25 March 2011

Columnist: Ahmed, Musah

The Coalition Of Concerned Teachers Must Be Punished

It is an undeniable fact that the roles played by teachers in the National development could not be undermined.

The Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) that was initiated by the erstwhile Kuffour administration and is being implemented by the current Atta Mills led administration, with the aim of ensuring parity and somehow enhance the condition of services of government employees, suffered some anomalies during the migration of over two- thousand and plus teachers from the Ghana Universal Salary Structure (GUSS) onto the SSSS.

This triggered various forms of agitations from the side of teachers especially those who had fall victims of sudden reduction in their salaries, though the Fair Wages Commission, the Ministers of Education and that of Employment and Social Welfare had come out to explain and apologize to teachers for such spontaneous anomalies.

The President, H.E John Evans Atta Mills also assured teachers of better conditions of service and swift address of the said anomalies, which has indeed been ensured as the leadership of GNAT and NAGRAT formed part of the negotiation process that comprise the Ministers of Education and that of Employment and Social welfare together with the Fair Wages Commission, which agreed on 15% increment as a Retention Premium in addition to the 10% across the board increment for workers and the consolidated 15% professional allowance for teachers.

Suddenly, a group calling itself THE COALITION OF CONCERNED TEACHERS erupted in the Ashanti Region. This group claims it has lost hope and confidence in the leadership of both GNAT and NAGRAT, and even continued to engage itself in the strike action which was called off by the leadership of NAGRAT and GNAT.

It is this same group that entreated its members to return to class to teach according to their conscience after Ghana Education Service(GES) had issued and ultimatum for teachers to resume work or suffer for their actions; is this how we should live as people who have National interest at heart? Few weeks after the strike action, which was followed by the 15% retention premium increase in the salaries of teachers, the so-called COALITION OF CONCERNED TEACHERS IN THE ASHANTI REGION illegitimately abandoned their work for a demonstration alleged to be against the leadership of GNAT and NAGRAT desdpite the fact that they have not assumed their normal duty, as they claim they would be teaching according to their conscience even after the ultimatum issued by the Ghana Education Service (GES), as reported.

The questions that come to mind are:

Who employs these teachers, is it the Ghana Education Service (GES) or the leadership of GNAT and NAGRAT?

How would a private business employer handle this uncalled-for demonstration at the expense of the productive time? I believe we can all provide the answers to the above asked questions. The action of this group is tempting me to believe that its members forcibly returned to class with the fear of facing the consequence of their heedless to the GES ultimatum and sit idle in their class without teaching.

Though demonstration is legal in this great country of ours, the coalition has abused their right to demonstration by using their working hours to embark on an illegal demonstration, especially when they are doing that against a third party and not their employer. This is shameful on their part as they are suppose to know better. Weekend or evening, would have been the right time for such demonstrations and not school-hours, which affects the students especially those in the Final years. I do not know what measure the GES or the Government is adopting in handling issues like this, but I would be very glad as a concerned student if the members of the so-called coalition are taken on and if possible their salaries for this month (i.e March) withheld, to serve as deterrent for others who would want to follow suits, without which the future of the wonderful children of Ghana would be landing in fiasco.

Finally, I want to call on parents who are up and doing to take on teachers who shirk their responsibilities by engaging in illegal demonstrations that would undoubtedly have adverse effects on their wards.

Let us join hands to make Ghana a Better place of living by giving the right education to our younger ones and future leaders.

Wishing all final year students the best of luck in their final exams and God bless Ghana.

Musah Ahmed Concerned student (KUMASI) 0242-846-857. Thank you.