File Photo: Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh.

Four Teacher Unions, have appealed to Parliament to suspend deliberations on the Pre-Tertiary Education Bill because when passed in its current form, it will undermine the Ghana Education Service (GES) in managing Education including TVET.

At a media briefing in Accra, yesterday (February 14), the General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers, Thomas Musah on behalf of the Unions, expressed shock at the content of the Bill which can erode the powers of the GES as well as create problems when it comes to Condition of Service of teachers.

The Unions expressed their readiness to have discussions with the Ministry of Education, to resolve any disagreement by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education.

The Ghana National Association of Teachers, GNAT, National Association of Graduate Teachers, NAGRAT, Teachers and Educational Workers Union, TEWU and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers, CCT-Ghana at a meeting with the Select Committee on Education of Parliament expressed concern about the proposed structure of the management of Education in the Pre-Tertiary Bill.

The Bill seeks to place, Senior High Schools under the management of Regional Coordinating Councils, Basic Schools will be managed by the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and Technical and Vocational Institutions to be run by their Directors-General which will be independent of the Ghana Education Service, GES.

The General Secretary of GNAT, Thomas Musah on behalf of the other Unions said the content of the Pre-Tertiary Bill will destabilize the teaching profession and make the GES ineffective.

”It will break or dismember the unified service currently. It will break the unified condition of service under which teachers work. It will destroy the organic teaching profession our founding fathers fought for and attain even under colonial rule. The unified teaching profession is non-negotiable. We will not allow the dismemberment, disintegration and destruction of the teaching profession. We will remain committed to our collective and united front”’.

The National Chairman of TEWU, Peter K. Lumor said the proposed structure will hamper quality Education and asked the Education Ministry to reach consensus with the Unions on the issue to save the country’s Education.

”The question is the Districts, are they going to run separate scheme of service? If you are sending me to Atiavi Secondary School and the scheme and conditions there, I think it is not right I won’t go there. These are things that we must be thinking about. It’s our prayer that the sector Ministry will engage us to do the right thing to save Education in Ghana. This is because this is all the Teacher Unions speaking”.

President of NAGRAT, Angel Carbonu said that the GES should rather be strengthened to provide better coordination to prevent divisions among teachers. He said if the Bill is passed in its current form, it will not motivate teachers.

”What is going to happen is that, there will be a high level of demotivation, despondency which will have a direct effect on output. We want the Ghana Education Service, that will have one condition of Service for all teachers, regardless of the level you find yourself so that the teacher will have that spirit of self-worth. Anyone from a training institution is equally qualified as anybody who is teaching in any Senior High School so why then do you segregate in terms of conditions of service and in terms of administration. We do not want the Ghanaian teacher to be separated in such a manner”.

The Teacher Unions said they will advise themselves if their position is disregarded.

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