The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has expressed bitterness with the Ghana Education Service’s (GES) directive to third-year students in Senior High Schools to return to school earlier than the planned reopening date for extra classes.
The students, the first batch of government’s Free SHS program who were supposed to resume in September are now to return on August 19, 2019.
According to the GES, the recall from the vacation is an intervention to enable teachers to recover some lost contact hours and prepare the students adequately for next year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
But, President of NAGRAT, Angel Carbonu says teachers cannot be forced to return from their holidays adding that the action is even unlawful.
“We have indicated that such exercise cannot be compulsory. You cannot compel teachers who are on holiday to go back to school. So those teachers who will exercise the options to absenting themselves from the would-be form threes can not be intimidated or victimised by anyone. The exercise is not compulsory and we are asking teachers to exercise their rights to be part of it or not.”
“If teachers are public sector workers and they come under the labour law. The labour law enjoins the employer to ensure that every worker takes a number of days as leave depending on their rank. They are entitled by law to enjoy that annual leave”, he added.
The teachers would be paid intervention money for the additional work they will be doing during the period, but Angel
At a press conference where the announcement was made, Director General of the Ghana Education Service (GES) Prof. Opoku-Amankwa explained that the move to have the teachers and students back to school was crucial in order not to distort academic work.
“If we allow them to run the regular semester programme, they will be finishing school somewhere in August next year. However, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) timetable indicates they will be starting their WASSCE in April and that by the first week in June, they would have completed school. So, what it means is that if we allow them to follow the regular programme, they may be at home when it is even time to write the exam.”