The Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) has said the Colleges of Education Teachers Association Ghana (CETAG) is acting in bad faith for deciding to allow all members to take a 28-day mandatory leave at the same time.

Director General of GTEC, Professor Mohammed Salifu noted that the Association’s action was “surprising” because it promised to engage its members concerning their demands in a meeting with GTEC only to declare a mandatory leave afterwards.

Speaking on JoyNews’ The Probe, Prof. Salifu described CETAG’s action as a “disguised strike action which is masquerading as people taking up their entitlements of leave.”

“At GTEC we think that CETAG has not behaved in good faith. CETAG left the meeting with a promise that they are going to engage their members and get back to us and the next thing we see is members going on leave…it does not happen that way, it is not the Union that calls members to go on leave and everybody cannot just walk out,” he stated.

All teachers in the 46 public Colleges of Education who are members of CETAG have proceeded on leave from September 1, 2022. They are expected to take their 28 days of annual leave and return on October 10.

This follows a press statement in August 2022 issued by the Association demanding their full conditions of service and other compensatory packages.

However, quoting the Harmonised Conditions of Service for the Colleges of Education, CETAG’s National President said that it was not mandatory for teachers to seek permission before embarking on leave.

Prince Obeng-Himah said that “following redesigning of the academic calendar after COVID-19, it became such that academic work starts from January to December. The same teachers will have to teach throughout the year without any form of break.”

The Teacher Trainees’ Association of Ghana is worried the decision by CETAG could affect final-year students in the Colleges of Education.

President of the Group, Jonathan Dzunu told Joy News many students have been left to their fate in spite of the upcoming examinations.

“It is a very frustrating period for us as students especially the final year students. As we speak, the teachers are nowhere to be found, we are on our own and those students who try to learn on their own and find some concepts difficult to understand, when they go to teachers for an explanation, the teachers tell them they are on leave and unable to help them.”

Meanwhile, the Conference of Principals of Colleges of Education (PRINCOF) has said there will be a meeting with the leadership of CETAG to discuss the way forward.

“We hope they will come and attend that meeting so that together we see how we can iron out these issues,” National President of PRINCOF, Dr Emmanuel Nyamekye noted on The Probe.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.