The Deputy Minister for Education, Mahama Ayariga has apologized to teachers for the unfortunate incident that occurred when police fired tear gas to disperse demonstrating teachers.

Mr. Ayariga who was speaking on Joy FM’s current affairs programme Newsfile on Saturday said even though the police acted within their mandate to maintain public law and order, the Ministry of Education regrets the unfortunate event and sincerely apologises to teachers for what happened.

“I will never support anything that involves the beating and throwing of teargas at teachers, and we at the Ministry of education apologise to them for what has happened and we look forward to continuing to work with them to improve the welfare of teachers,” he stated.

Mr. Ayariga also indicated that the Government has reached an agreement with the teachers union involving a 15 percent retention premium for both professional and non-professional teachers.

The deputy minister intimated that the 15 percent retention premium had been consolidated to include non-professional teachers as well as non-teaching staff such as laboratory technicians who were initially left out.

The police on Friday March 11 fired tear gas on some disgruntled teachers who were on a protest march to present a petition to government to press home their requests for corrections to be made in relation to the salaries of teachers on the new pay policy.

Meanwhile, the Public Relations Manager of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent Kwesi Ofori, has defended the actions of the police to fire teargas at demonstrating teachers around the premises of the Trades Union Congress.

Speaking on news file on Joy FM, Spt. Ofori stated that the action by teachers on Friday amounted to lawlessness which needed to be counted with proportional a force to meet the law enforcement objective of the police.

“Looking at the nuisance and the uncomfortable traffic jam that obstructed public highway and restricted movement, the police had to take a decision to disperse the demonstrators in order to restore law and order and to protect lives and property,“ he insisted.

Play the attached audio for excerpts of the interview

Story by Natogmah Sugri Mohammed/Hitz FM/Ghana