Volta, Oti Teacher Unions Resist Pre-tertiary Bill Over Lack Of Consultation
The coalition of unions under the Ghana Education Service says it will continue to resist the new Pre-Tertiary Bill because of the lack of consultation.
According to the coalition, the Bill only seeks to give more appointing powers to the political class to the detriment of quality education and the welfare of teachers.
Already, teacher unions in other regions have also kicked against the Bill which they fear will see basic schools, Senior High Schools and Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) being managed by the District Assemblies, Regional Education Directorate and a Director-General independent of the Ghana Education Service.
Addressing the press in Ho on Tuesday, the Volta Regional Chairman of Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), David Katah, said they are in solidarity with the view held by their national leaders with regards to the Bill.
“It is crystal clear that the Bill is harmful to the teaching profession. It is set out to destroy the management arrangement and further enhance the winner takes all agenda by the political class. We the teachers in the Volta and Oti Regions hereby declare that we stand in solidarity with our colleagues in the other regions to resist the passage of the Bill in its current form with all our might and strength. If we destroy the management body or GES, it is our heritage. We wish to send a strong signal that henceforth, we will not allow any appointment of non-teachers and educational workers as management over us. We wish to state again that the pre-tertiary bill should be suspended.”
Teacher Unions have raised concerns over some aspects of the bill which gives the Head of Local Government Service the power to appoint Heads and Staff of District Education as well as promote, transfer, discipline and dismiss staff of the District Education Unit.
The teacher unions; which include the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT), had called on Parliament to suspend deliberations on the Bill until all outstanding issues with the Ministry of Education were resolved.
Parliament, however, referred the Teacher Unions to the Education Ministry for further engagement.
The government subsequently met with the various teacher unions in an attempt to address concerns they had raised over the bill.
Pre-Tertiary bill won't make educational sector partisan – Education Ministry
The Ministry of Education had said that it has no intention of introducing partisan politics into the country's educational sector with the introduction of the new pre-tertiary bill.
Public Relations Officer of the Ministry, Vincent Ekow Asafuah said the Bill rather seeks to make things better in the country's educational sector.
“The bill that is before Parliament is a reconsidered bill and for the past two weeks or three weeks, I have been engaging with a number of teacher unions and other stakeholders as far as the pre-tertiary bill is concerned and the fear of introducing partisanship and all that as far as the pre-tertiary bill is concerned is something that should not even come to the fore because it is not the idea of the Ghana Education Service neither is it the intention of the Education Ministry to introduce partisanship in our education sector,” he said.
Per the Bill, the proposed structure of the management of education will see senior high schools run by the Regional Coordinating Councils while basic schools will be run by the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.
Technical and vocational schools will be under a Director-General, independent of the Ghana Education Service (GES).