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Opinions of Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Columnist: Amoah, Anthony Kwaku

When GES gives code of ethics to teachers

By Anthony Kwaku Amoah

This may not be news actually. It is normal for an employer to give a code which controls and directs an employee's professional life and practices. Every employee must know what their employer wants and how their employer wants those things to be done.

The Ghana Education Service (GES) is not a 'cemetery' agency. It has workers, directors and stakeholders who are at post and working. As some are doing well, others continue to respond to queries of non-performance and misconducts. Heads of schools, teachers, students and pupils are being managed by GES.

GES implements educational policies, programmes and issues for holistic upbringing of the child. GES, just like the school, is a corporate enterprise. It needs everybody on board to be successful. We must act as stakeholders and shareholders of education. Any yield from GES and the school is for us all to enjoy or lament over and so the need for massive support always.

Very soon, GES shall outdoor a revised code of professional conduct for its staff. School heads, teachers and non-teaching staff, including librarians and store-keepers need to be told officially what to do and what not to do as far as education delivery is concerned. The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) produced a code of ethics for its members somewhere in the year 2000. Many teachers still read and use it. GES promotes compliance with professional standards of staff and teachers always. GES continues to motivate, promote and demote personnel every now and then.

A couple of days ago, the Director-General of GES, Mr. Jacob Kor, convened and chaired a meeting of teacher unions and education directors. He presented to them a draft revised code of professional conduct for perusal and inputs. The session was warm, civil and professional. I was present and participants understood the need for a professional code of conduct.

Mr. Kor thanked teachers and stakeholders for their unflinching support for Ghana's education. He urged all of us to continue to deliver the best of education and training to the Ghanaian child. He also mocked and cautioned everybody against child abuse, sexual impropriety with children, absenteeism and irregularity at school and drunkenness. He tasked us to,"Take this draft revised code home, read through it well and share the things in it with your members. Let's come back next week with suggested additions and subtractions to this draft code for consideration. We shall depend on you (teacher unions) for the production and distribution of the final document which will be given to teachers and staff at a fee."

The GES boss reminded us to always act as professionals and dispensers of knowledge and discipline. Divisional directors of GES, regional directors of education, executives of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and Coalition of Concerned Teachers-Ghana (CCT-Gh) were around. They spoke well and I do not think teachers will have anything bad to think about as the code is deemed to reach our schools in the early part of next year.
I shall be back when everything is ready and GES wishes all of us a merry Xmas too in advance!

E-mail: amoatec27@yahoo.com

The writer is an educationist and a public relations officer at the Headquarters of the Ghana Education Service.