General News of Tuesday, 20 September 2016
The Education Ministry has withdrawn a controversial memo to Regional Directors of Education instructing them to post all newly trained teachers but not issue an appointment letter to them to begin work.
Deputy Education Minister in charge of Tertiary education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who in the morning questioned the authenticity of the memo, made a u-turn in the evening, saying the memo was genuine but had been issued in error.
According to him, the Acting Deputy Director General of the Ghana Education Service Mrs Cynthia Bosumtwi-Sam, who authored the memo, was absent in a meeting held with the Finance Minister, during which key decisions were made and which made the content of the memo moot.
Part of the 19 September 2016, memo intercepted by Joy News read:
“All newly trained teachers should be posted but are not to be issued with appointment letters and are to be in the classrooms to teach until financial clearance has been granted by the Ministry of Finance.
The memo also asked heads of some Senior High Schools who are recruiting staff to desist from the recruitment. “They are to note that the embargo on recruitment is still in force. Anyone who recruits does so at his or her own risk,” the memo said.
Okudzeto Ablakwa told Joy News after a meeting with the Ghana Education Service later, Tuesday it was resolved that the September 19, 2016 memo be recalled and a new one issued.
The new memo, according to him will ask all the 16,432 newly trained teachers to report to work on October 3, 2016 in line with decisions taken with the Finance Minister.
“There is a new memo that supersedes this old memo, though the fault did not come from us, the ministry will have to take responsibility for it and we express regret for this whole development,” he said.
The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) was happy with the decision to reverse the memo.
“Our initial position was that we did not understand how you will recruit people and then tell them to stay at home and wait until they get financial clearance,” NAGRAT president Christian Addae Poku said.
He added that at the time when classrooms are empty begging for teachers, it was strange the first memo came but he is happy that a swift decision has been taken to reverse the decision.
He was quick to add that the new directives will also not amount to anything if the newly trained teachers are not given the financial clearance in order for them to be paid for the work they will do.