The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has granted study leave to 296 Officers, representing 4.93 per cent of its current human resource instead of the usual 1.5 per cent.
This first-ever monumental increment was made known in Accra Friday, October 25, when the Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mr. Kwame Asuah Takyi, addressed a durbar of Service personnel on study leave approvals for the 2019/2020 academic year and related matters.
According to him, the decision for the increment for the 2019/2020 study leave was borne out of the need for strategic manpower development and to build a strong knowledge-based organization as captured in the GIS five-year strategic plan with ‘learning organization’ as one of its core values.
The CGI lamented over the current Study Leave policy which was last reviewed in 2011, ever since it was instituted in 2002. “The old quota was set based on the workforce at that time but had become inadequate considering the current numbers,” he noted. “Our numbers have increased, and we will be denying many if we do not review the policy,” he added.
He further indicated that several Junior Officers who had worked between 7 to 13 years and had applied for study leave on several occasions were refused for the reason of a ‘seniority clause’ in the Study Leave policy. “This unfairness is worrying, especially when Senior Officers could pursue second Master’s Degree programmes at the expense of Junior Officers who struggle just to get the opportunity to pursue First Degree over a policy of seniority,” he added.
He also explained that the decision to increase the quota for Junior Officers for the 2019/2020 academic year was because most of the Officers would undertake their respective course of study on the basis of long-distance and over the weekend which would not affect their working schedule.
Mr. Takyi assured the Officers that all legitimate concerns in the study leave policy would be considered to ensure transparency and fairness in the application and selection processes for the benefit of the Service as well as personnel.
“Therefore a committee to be chaired by the Deputy Comptroller-General in-charge of Legal, Research and Monitoring, Madam Victoria N. Baaba Asare has been constituted to address inherent challenges arising from the study leave policy in recent times and review it to respond to present exigencies” he added.
He, however, noted that the attainment of a higher educational qualification by an Officer as contained in Regulation 17(6) of the Immigration Service Regulation, 2016 [L.I. 2245], would not guarantee automatic promotion by reason of only a qualification.
He urged the Officers to familiarise themselves with all relevant GIS laws and policies relating to study leave and other related issues to avoid undue agitations.