27.05.2005 Regional News

Irregularities characterised procedure for granting study leave - Gbadamosi

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Accra, May 27, GNA - Alhaji Rahemin Gbadamosi, Former Director-General of Ghana Education Service (GES), on Friday said the processes and procedure for granting Study Leave with Pay (SLP) for 2004-2005 academic year were characterised with irregularities. He mentioned backdating of registration numbers of teachers, uttering of duration of service for qualification and change of programmes indicated against some teacher students as some of the malpractices that dented the selection.

Alhaji Gbadamosi, who is the Chairman of a five-member Independent Committee set up by the Government to investigate processes used for selecting teachers for SLP, was speaking at the presentation of the report to Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports, in Accra.

The Committee, according to Alhaji Gbadamosi, established no evidence of corrupt conduct on the part of staff that processed the granting of SLP for the academic year. It also noted that the process of selecting personnel was over centralised at the GES Headquarters leading to overload of work.

Some GES personnel, who gained admission to tertiary institutions registered and started their courses in anticipation of being granted SLP. Those of them who were not granted SLP became aggrieved when their salaries were stopped for vacation of post and resorted to a demonstration.

Alhaji Gbadamosi said: "Even though the Committee noticed attempts to induce the GES staff working on the schedule, there was no evidence that the students were successful."

The Committee also noticed that the basis for designating schools as deprived was not clear to many applicants and this was a cause for suspicion by many teachers who were not granted SLP, he said.

Some students from the University of Education, Winneba and Kumasi campuses, University of Ghana, Legon and University of Cape Coast last April 20 staged a three-hour demonstration against the selection process for teachers on study leave.

The students were teachers who had applied for study leave and had entered the universities without being granted such status by the GES, which had also refused to pay them.

Immediately after the demonstration Government set up the five-member Committee to investigate the processes used for selecting teachers for study leave with pay.

Mr Osafo-Maafo, who received the report, said Government could not allow the study leave with pay for teachers to be fraught with corruption, non-transparency and favouritism.

He said the Government would study the report and issue a White Paper immediately.

"We recognize their grievances and the only way the problem can be addressed is to wait for our decision on the findings of the Committee for a holistic solution," Mr Osafo-Maafo said.

"Government is committed to a system that would favour and improve the conditions of teachers serving the country," he said.

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