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16.11.2007 General News

Tema teachers threaten to close down schools

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Members of the Tema Council of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) have threatened to close down schools in the metropolis if Mrs Lucy Kwapong, Tema Metropolitan Director of Education, does not stop victimizing its members.

They issued the threat on Thursday after over 300 teachers demonstrated against Mrs Kwapong and the Ghana Education Service (GES) for relieving Mrs Helena Abrokwa of her position as head teacher of Padmore One Primary. She was sent to Baatsona TMA Primary as a teacher.

Mr George Asare Yamoah, Tema Metropolitan Chairman of GNAT, said Tema teachers and their colleagues in the country would not hesitate to close down all schools to show their solidarity with any of its members who might be victimized by any GES official.

Mr Yamoah, addressing the teachers after the demonstration, said Mrs Kwapong's actions violated the GES conditions of service and posed a threat to teachers in the metropolis.

He said even though teachers were willing to help build the human resource base of the country, they could not work under threats from anybody.

He said this was the second time Mrs Kwapong had sent a head teacher back to the classroom during the past four years without any due respect to the conditions of service.

He said she sent one Madam Abrefi Adjei, then the head teacher of Tema Manhean Junior High School, back to the classroom for commenting on an issue.

Mr Yamoah said GNAT intervened and withdrew the case out of court when Madam Abrefi Adjei went to court to seek redress.

The demonstrators who wore red bands held placards some of which read, 'respect rule of law', 'has GNAT not fought for you in the past?,' 'director your color has changed like a chameleon', 'allow the conditions of service to work'.

After demonstrating through some principal streets in Tema, the teachers presented copies of their petition to Mr David Quaye Annang, Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive and Mrs Kwapong.

Madam Christiana Mensah, Administrative Head in charge of welfare at the Tema GES office, received the protest on behalf of Mrs Kwapong as she was said to be in a meeting in Accra.

Mr Annang said he was impressed with the solidarity shown by the demonstrators but advised them to always find amicable solutions to such issues.

Mr Annang advised all concerned with the issue not to delay in giving testimonies to the Committee of Enquiry set up to investigate the issue.

While promising to give advice on the issue, he urged all leaders to always comply with their profession's code of ethics.

The protest statement which was signed by the Metropolitan Chairman and Secretary of GNAT stated that "the terms and conditions of service is an agreed document by which all grievances are to be resolved, its violation is a threat to all teachers and a grievance to be settled".

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