Executive Director of Child Rights International, Bright Appiah has described as worrying the growing trend where students are used as valuable resources for negotiations between teacher unions and the government.
According to him, this phenomenon will have a dire effect on the welfare of children and the entire students.
Mr. Bright Appiah was reacting to the strike action declared by three teacher unions over their discontent with the appointment of the new Director-General for the Ghana Education Service (GES).
“I am getting worried about it where at the end of the day we use children as a trump card to get our decision through.
“If we look at what is happening, it has nothing to do with the children and children should not be the basis for which we want to place on the table a negotiation for the discussion if the appointing authorities are not willing to go by their decision,” he told JoyNews.
He argued that the teacher unions must at all times avoid using students as a trump card for their demands from the government.
“I think that should be ruled out and should not be a possibility because the state requires that whatever action we take, it should be in the best interest of children.
“So if the appointing authority decides to appoint X person and you want a Y person, that should be a decision between you and the appointing authority but to use children, I find it a bit uncomfortable,” he added.
Government is expected to continue its negotiations with the Ghana National Association of Teachers, National Association of Graduate Teachers and Coalition of Concerned Teachers today, November 8 over their ongoing strike. There have been two previous inconclusive meetings between the parties.
The three teacher unions are on strike because they want the government to revoke the appointment of Dr. Eric Nkansah as the new Director-General of the GES.
They have argued that Dr. Eric Nkansah is a banker and not an educationist hence, his appointment is in contravention of the requirements for the appointment of a GES Director-General.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Education Service (GES) has assured that government will restore teaching and learning activities in pre-tertiary institutions.
Speaking to JoyNews on the sidelines of the meeting, the Spokesperson of the GES, Yaw Opoku Mensah expressed optimism that the strike action by the three teacher unions will end before the close of the week.
“We expect that today, probably I am hopeful that finality will be brought to this. There will be a closure on the matter by both parties. We do not expect the strike to drag for long, tomorrow or today we could see a positive response because I am confident with the kind of engagement that has gone on so far and both parties are committed to the cause,” he said.
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