Teachers are Angry with Education Minister

Teachers throughout the country have expressed disappointment about what they called “teacher-unfriendly” policies by the government. The teachers alleged that the government has bared teachers from enrolling on sandwich programmes mounted by the universities in the country. This is made known to them by information provided by a source at the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS). The alleged directive came from the education minister through the Director General of Education. Teachers who defy this directive could be dismissed from the service. This has not only caused panic among teachers but could cause the teachers to rise against their union leaders. According to the teachers the “teacher-unfriendly” policies by the government have not attracted any serious attention of their union leaders and they would go every mile to prevent the government from retarding their growth. They questioned the rationale behind such a policy claiming that sandwich remains the only way for teachers to upgrade themselves.

Faction of the teachers explained that the policy that allows teachers to be on study leave with pay does not function. They have lost all hope of upgrading themselves because the quota system that operates under the current study leave with pay amounts to nothing. They would rather want the government to negotiate with the universities to align their programmes to go with the long vacations. Most of the teachers who heard this alleged directive lamented and wondered whether it was a crime to be a teacher in Ghana.

Some of the teachers recounted some of the “killer policies” by this government, which they asserted were all inimical to the progress of teachers in Ghana. The decision by the government not to pay allowances to teacher trainees remains fresh in the minds of the teachers. It is hard for them to understand why these policies are superintended by the education minister who should know better. This policy according to the source is gradually collapsing the teacher training colleges in the country. The number of applicants to the teacher training colleges for this year alone has reduced by more than 50%. This is contrary to the claim by the government to increase enrollment in the teacher training colleges.

It is recalled that teachers in the basic and second cycle institutions have issued stein warning to embark on an indefinite strike over their conditions of service. There are ample signals that the education sector in the country may face serious setback if care is not taking. A nationwide striking action by GNAT and NAGRAT would collapse the whole education sector. Meanwhile, UTAG and POTAG are on strike which has telling effects on parents and students.

Zuberu Aliu
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