Former Education Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh

Teacher Unions within the Western and Western North Regions have called on Parliament to as a matter of urgency put on hold all legislations concerning the “PRE-TERTIAY EDUCATION BILLS (2019) currently before the House.

At a joint press conference by the Unions and addressed by Reverend Charles Kaku, the Metropolitan GNAT Chairman, he said, “We call on Parliament of Ghana for the suspension of these Bills for further and deeper stakeholder consultation.

“The National Leadership of the Teacher Unions under the Ghana Education Service held a joint Press Conference on Friday, 14th February, 2020 at the GNAT Headquarters to call upon Parliament to humbly suspend discussions of the three Bills on Pre-Tertiary Education (2019) and furnish them with copies to study, analyse and make the necessary inputs into them”.

The chairman said in this regard unions therefore call on all concerned to properly engage them further on the subject under consideration before any bill would be passed to that effect.

“We the Teacher Unions (GNAT, NAGRAT, CCT-GH, and TEWU) in the Western and Western North Regions are of the opinion that education was key to our national development and any attempt to introduce policies and legislations in education must be done with the active and express involvement of teachers who are the key stakeholders,

“We call on the President of the Republic of Ghana to intervene, so we can have a smooth labour front in the education sector because the Bill in their current form will distort the modest gains made in education.”

“Some observation on the Pre-tertiary education Bill include ceding the effective responsibility for the provision and management of basic schools to the District Assemblies, the management of the Senior High Schools to the Regional Education Directorate (Regional Coordinating Council) and TVET to be managed by their own Director-General independent of the Ghana Education Service.

He stated that should the Bill be allowed to go through in its current state, it has the tendency to break the unified educational arrangement the country was enjoying presently.

“It also has the potential of distorting the unified condition of service we are using now, as the various MMDCEs will develop their independent Conditions of Service, which may not be in the best interest of our members”.

Under section 31 of the current Bill, the Head of Local Government Service would be appointing Heads and Staff of the District Education Unit as well as, be responsible for Promotion, Transfer, Discipline and Dismissal of staff of the District Education Unit.

“Our concerns are that this country is already politically polarized; again any party that comes to power would like to have their party sympathizers occupy positions even when they are not the most qualified people.

“We hereby sound that we would resist the passage of this Bill with all our legitimate might and strength as teachers, to preserve the unified teaching profession at the pre-tertiary level and THIS IS NON-NEGOTIABLE”.

The Unions argued that they were not against the concept of decentralisation in the country but rather the move to collapse the structures of the Ghana Education Service in the country.