It is education and enlightenment that lift a nation to the heights of progress and greatness.
In fact, there is no denying the fact that, education in Ghana is incomplete without Ghanaian teachers. This is a fact that cannot be contested. But the question we must ask ourselves is whether indeed we as a nation is giving the Ghanaian teachers that recognition. Your guess is as good as mine.
As said by Guy Kawasaki, "If you have to put someone on a pedestal, put teachers. They are the society's heroes"
Educational Workers Connect, an educational Think Tank interested in ensuring quality education across the country has received with utter shock and dismay the statement released by GES on September 2, 2020, concerning teachers they claimed owed legacy arrears to be 4,881.
In a publication by Graphic Online dated December 9, 2019, it was captioned
"GES to publish names of legacy arrears beneficiaries in wake of teachers' strike" a statement made by Director-General of the GES, Prof. Kwasi Opoku- Amankwa
It reads; The Ghana Education Service (GES) says it will not be stampeded into paying illegal money to teachers under the guise of legacy arrears.
According to the service, it had saved the government GH¢11.3 million after detecting some anomalies in the payment of the arrears and that there was the need to do more to verify the genuineness of the payments before the affected teachers were paid.
Prof. Kwasi Opoku -Amankwa, in an interview with the Daily Graphic, said "it was unfortunate that with all the effort being made by the government, having paid 95 percent of the affected staff, the teachers still insisted on embarking on the strike".
Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said, "the GES would publish the list of its staff who benefited from the legacy arrears".
That he said was to clear the air and set the records straight about the government's commitment to pay the debt.
We are in the month of September 2020 and till date GES has not published the list of those they claimed have been paid the legacy arrears. So, we are asking this very simple and straightforward question: Is GES no longer ready to prove its case as stated categorically in December 2019?
Here we are the beneficiaries are saying that they have not received any money and GES is also saying that the teachers have been paid.
So we ask, who is telling the truth? Who is taking the public for granted?
We are certain in our minds that GES has been too insensitive and unfair to the Ghanaian teachers specifically on this very sensitive and emotive subject.
It must be said once again that Ghanaian teachers are at the frontline of education and play a major part in shaping values, knowledge and skills of students.
They are the pillars of nation-building process because they help to influence the next generation to become morally, socially and spiritually responsible and productive members in the society and the country at large.
They are the country's gatekeepers, opening doors to opportunities and possibilities that are beyond the foreseeable horizon.
They trigger visions, develop building blocks, and catalyze actions to build the world to come.
Therefore, we expect the hard working teachers whose salary obviously doesn't commensurate with their work be treated with utmost respect and dignity by all governments.
Unfortunately, this seems to be eluding the teachers in this country.
Teachere owed legacy arrears as follows;
Total number of teachers owed excluding NAGRAT members is 54,922 lt doesn't mean NAGRAT members are not owed. But, we are not accurate on the exact figure.
This data was submitted to GES on 27th Feb.2020.
Again in a letter by GNAT in July 2020 it again indicated that 45,512 members owed legacy arrears.
At this juncture, the only option left is for GES to publish the names of those teachers paid the legacy arrears within two weeks for the public to know the one telling the truth.
To conclude, the deputy education Minister Hon Adutwum in an interview with Citinewsroom.com on 30th April, 2020 indicated that government was in the process of paying legacy arrears owed various teacher unions across the country.
The arrears which include over two years salary and promotion arrears as well allowances of some public school teachers have sparked a series of demonstrations in the education sector.
Hon. Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, said the "government was currently engaging the teachers to come up with workable modalities in paying the debt".
This was said four (4) months ago. How come suddenly, government only worked on the payment modalities and has paid the monies owed the teachers without the knowledge of the teacher unions and the beneficiaries? There is a missing link somewhere.
Finally, we are once again calling on the Director General of GES to please live by his words and publish the names of the teachers whom he claimed were paid the legacy arrears. This is because the same statement by the Director general was corroborated by the Vice President, His Excellency Dr. Bawumia during their manifesto launch in Cape Coast.
This when done will put the matter to rest once and for all and also prevent imminent agitations by the teachers sooner rather than later.
Ghanaian teachers deserve better.
God bless Ghana!
Daniel Yao Agbezudor