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10.08.2005 General News

Ministry to monitor teachers on leave with pay

GNA

Accra, Aug. 10, GNA - Ms Elizabeth Ohene, Minister of State in-charge of Tertiary Education, has said she would systematically check on all teachers on study leave with pay to determine whether they were complying with the regulations of the Ghana Education Service (GES) with regard to the granting of study leave with pay.

Ms Ohene told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that she had decided to monitor such teachers after a teacher pleaded with her to facilitate his admission to the University of Ghana School of Nursing. Mr Thomas Najah, 33, is currently on study leave with pay at the Accra Polytechnic but wanted the Minister to facilitate his admission process at the University of Ghana School Nursing where he had been offered admission to pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Nursing, Psychology and Sociology for the 2005/2006 academic year.

Ms Ohene said Mr Najah had applied as a mature student at the University, and mature students, who were practical Nurses, did not have to pay the full fees.

Mr Najah, who had no background in nursing, has since paid the admission fee of 1,909,000 cedis in July but when he returned to register as a fresh student this month the University informed him that the school had detected a mistake with regard to his admission because he was not a practicing nurse and would, therefore, have to be a paying student.

Ms Ohene said she sympathised with the teacher, whom she believed was making efforts to upgrade his knowledge and, therefore, pleaded with the Dean to allow him to pursue the programme. She said when Mr Najah was asked whether he was on study leave, he denied adding that he quit the teaching profession because he was not granted study leave.

Investigations from the GES records, however, revealed that the Mr Najah enrolled at the Polytechnic in November 2002 and was pursuing HND programme in Laboratory Technology and was on study leave with pay. He said the GES records showed that he received his pay on July 20, 2005, and he was expected to return to the classroom after the HND programme and teach for at least three years.

"He was denying this but we confronted him with evidence and he agreed. We suspect that other teachers could be involved in such practice but this is the first time I have been confronted with this kind of problem in this way.

"He would have filled forms not disclosing his circumstance. I'm checking all; I'm not in a hurry. I want a proper investigation into the matter. If he has made false declarations on the forms then he has forfeited his admission. He certainly did not expect to be asked all these questions."

Ms Ohene said she called the security to hand him over to the Ministries Police Station for further investigation. She, however, directed that Mr Najah be released and placed on self-recognisance bail. When the GNA contacted the Ministries Police Station, Mr Kwasi Duku, the Divisional Commander, confirmed the story and said the Police were still investigating the matter.

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