The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has called on the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to halt the ongoing rationalisation and redeployment of teachers.
Meanwhile, it has called on its members to disregard any directive asking any of them to leave their current place of work in the name of rationalisation and redeployment.
At a news conference in Accra yesterday, the Vice-President of the association, Mr Eric Angel Carbonu, cautioned that the continuous threats and victimisation of teachers nationwide, was a recipe for industrial disharmony and chaos.
The rationalisation and redeployment exercise is being undertaken by the Ministry of Education and the GES, following the reversal of the duration of senior high school (SHS) from four to three years. The reversion has created over-staffing in many schools, hence, the need to rationalise staffing in the GES.
NAGRAT agrees but…
Mr Carbonu said laudable as the idea might be, it was important and humane for the education authorities to note that the exercise was going to destabilise teachers, many of whom had not planned to move from their current places of work.
“Many families are going to be unduly disturbed in terms of moving children to other schools and transferring spouses to join others. No accommodation arrangements have even been discussed with the teachers as to how to deal with existing landlords and to raise funds for accommodation at their new places,” he said.
The NAGRAT vice-president blamed politicians for the situation, “as they chose to play musical chairs with the duration of senior high school programme and other educational policies and blatantly ignore the input of teachers…”.
Settlement of scores
Mr Carbonu said some district directors and heads of schools had taken advantage of the situation to settle personal scores, and added that teachers were being transferred to some schools or offices because their directors and heads did not like them.
“Some female teachers who are legitimately on maternity leave have suffered open releases from their schools under the guise of rationalisation and redeployment. Again on the instruction of some heads of schools, teachers are being intentionally allocated less teaching periods so as to render them redundant,” he said.
He said per the teachers condition of service, the transfer of personnel from one location to another came with the payment of transfer grants and transportation allowance.
However, he said, the GES was in arrears for the non-payment of transfer grants for the past four years.
“On what grounds, therefore, can they convince anybody that teachers who accept these massive transfers will not suffer from this no money syndrome?” he queried.
Mr Carbonu called on the government to explain to the public what it intended to do with the extra classrooms that were built to accommodate fourth year SHS?students, contending that if those classrooms were going to be utilised, then there was no justification for rushing to transfer teachers.
By Emmanuel Bonney/Daily Graphic/Ghana