The General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), has said the various teacher unions in the country would resist any attempt by government to impose the privatization of basic school.
Mr David Ofori Acheampong is not in support of the Ghana Partnership School project in September this year, which he thinks will not benefit the educational system.
Even though government has explained it does not intend to privatize public basic schools under the controversial Ghana Partnership School (GPS) policy, the various teacher unions think otherwise.
The initiative, which seeks to create a partnership between government and private entities to take over the management of some public schools, has received a lot of backlash from stakeholders in the past few weeks.
Even before the date for the implementation of the initiative, interested parties such as teacher unions have threatened a massive demonstration against the government if it proceeds with the plan.
The unions justified their opposition, saying that they had not been consulted in the planning of the project.
Graphic Online’s Felix A. Baidoo reports the General Secretary, Mr Acheampong reiterated GNAT’s position on the matter whilst speaking in Kumasi on Thursday during a meeting of the leadership of GNAT with heads of basic schools.
He although the government had the right to implement policies in the nations' education, there was the need for the government to do broader consultation with all stakeholders to ensure that the right thing would be done in the interest of the nation.
The meeting was aimed at interacting with the head teachers on the current state of educational issues in the country and the position of the association.
In attendance were 544 head teachers from the Kumasi Metropolis and Asokore Mampong Municipality all in the Ashanti region.
Govt not handing over public schools to private operators – Adutwum
Meanwhile, the government through a Deputy Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum has explained that it has not taken a decision to hand over public schools to private operators.
In a radio interview with Accra based Citi FM on Thursday, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum said the government has no intention to hand over the management of basic schools to private individuals.
Mr Acheampong debunked the erroneous impression that was being peddled around that head teachers in the country were not competent hence the poor performance in public basic schools in the country.
“I can challenge you that head teachers in the country are very qualified, they go through various screening and interviews as well as experiences before they qualify to be heads of such schools, what then makes them unqualified,” The General Secretary said.
He attributed the poor performance in some basic schools in the country to lack of supply or the late supply of logistic and educational materials among other things, citing for instance that capitation for the first term and second terms of the academic year have not been released and yet people wanted head teachers to conjure magic to get good results.
The General Secretary challenged the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service and other stakeholders to provide the head teachers and the schools with the right materials and on time and see the outcome.
Protect your job
Mr Acheampong expressed surprised at government’s decision to ban the collection of levies in schools in the country without making the right provision to ease the burden of head teachers and teachers as they undertake their day-to-day running of schools.
He cautioned teachers against caning children so they would incur the wrath of parents, government and other stakeholders and rather protect their job by focusing on their teaching and forget about any form of punishment.
“Why do you ban the collection of levies in schools, you do not plan well by providing the right alternative for teachers to print questions for instance as the term comes to an end and still you expect the public school head to perform magic in the long run in terms of quality results in the country’s education”. He said.
The General Secretary was not happy that as a result of politics the leadership of the nation keep taking certain decisions without thinking about its consequences in the country.
“How can the GES ban the use of the cane in schools without thinking about the cultural background and traditions of Ghanaians and still expect teachers to get the best behaviour from these children most of whom are best trained with the cane,” Mr Acheampong said.