The Eastern Region Pre-Tertiary Teacher Unions have called on government to drop the Pre-Tertiary Education Bill currently at the reading stage in Parliament until all outstanding concerns of teachers are resolved.
The group which is an amalgamation of Ghana National Association of Teachers(GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) and Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT-GH) say they will resist any attempt by government to decentralise Education under Local Government Ministry either than the Ministry of Education.
They contend that the bill, when passed in its current form, “will break/dismember the unified service, would break the unified conditions of Service under which teachers work, destroy the organic teaching profession our founding fathers fought and attained even under colonial rule” which will have negative effect on the entire education system.
The Unions stated that the Concerns and disapproval of Sections 18,20,23,30, 31,32 and 36 of the bill have been tabled before Parliamentary Select Committee on Parliament since they have the tendency of destabilizing the teaching Profession but not getting any hope that their concerns have been considered.
Per the bill, the proposed structure of the management of education would be such that senior high schools would be run by the Regional Coordinating Councils while basic schools would be run by the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies whereas technical and vocational schools would be under a Director-General, independent of the Ghana Education Service (GES).
The Unions say this policy will corrupt the education system with unnecessarily partisan politics and polarization.
“The District Education Director is going to work directly under the Municipal Chief Executive. Education at the District or municipal level is going to be just a unit of the Assembly, and we know in Ghana how politics is played. How can the district director get the freedom to take decisions that will improve education. When you look at section 36,the assemblies are going to take decisions on issues of discipline,employment and all those things.And you know Ghana here most of the districts are not resourced others are resourced this is going to bring about disparities ”
The Joint press conference addressed by Mr.John Selby, Eastern Regional GNAT Chairman, he explained further leadership of the Teacher Unions “shall not derail the constitution, but be guided by the best the cardinal interest of seeing to having every Ghanaian Child getting the best of education for his own betterment and development of the country.We stand for the Ghanaian public and therefore not be labeled sectarian ”
Adding that “we the unions are as committed to pursuing important reforms towards improving outcomes… As the Ministry ,since, we shall continue to offer useful suggestions but raise our voices and concerns whenever need be,for the right things to be done”
The Unions expressed worry that,in spite of teachers being the fulcrum around which Education policies evolve, were left out in drafting of the bill.
It has served notice of taken further actions should Parliament goes ahead to pass the bill without taken into consideration the concerns of the Teacher Unions.