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Teacher Unions’ strike is wicked, irrelevant – Dr. Sylvester Ayaribil Awonjaab

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Some teachers do not agree with the decision of the 3 major teacher unions to strike over the appointment of Dr. Eric Nkansah as Director-General of the Ghana Education Service. 

It would be recalled that the 3 unions, Ghana National Association of Teacher (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT-GH) have embarked on a strike to protest the appointment of Dr. Eric Nkansah.

The spokesperson for aggrieved teachers, Dr. Sylvester Ayaribil Awonjaab suggested that the strike is being used as a tool to satisfy the parochial interests of union leaders.

“The National Council of the Ghana National Association of Teachers, GNAT, made up of the 5 National Officers, 32 National Executive members, 127 District Chairmen, with 3 Management Staff, and Full-time Staff across the regions in attendance, having met at the 2022 mandatory meeting at the Teachers Village, Abankro from 25th-29th October 2022, deliberated on so many issues including the appointment of Dr. Eric Nkansah as Director General of Ghana Education Service. Having cruised through the issues raised in the communique, it is crystally clear that their numerous concerns have nothing to do with Dr. Eric Nkansah since he has just been appointed to work. These issues were already in existence before the appointment of this gentleman.”

Questioning the motive behind the strike action, Dr. Awonjaab said, “in their communique, they said that the position of Director General of the Ghana Education Service is the preserve of educationists. If this is anything to go by, why are the teachers still facing so many problems in the teaching field? Why didn’t the many professionals or educationists appointed previously to solve the chasing concerns of GNAT? Is Dr. Eric Nkansah the cause of the delay in the supply of laptops as well as a refund of the Ghc44.55 to teachers? Is Dr. Eric Nkansah the one preventing the payment of transfer grants and other allowances? Is he the one causing the no salary increase, the no promotion, and or promoted but no benefits attached?”

“The failure of teachers in passing their exams after writing many times has no relation with the new Director General of the Ghana education service since he was not a Director General at the time of the introduction of promotion exams as a form of assessment of teachers due for promotion. Can’t professional teachers be promoted based on professional work done during field monitoring and evaluation by supervisors? Why must old men and women who have toiled to bring so many products like Medical Doctors, Lawyers, and Accountants just to mention but a few, now suffer to read and read books upon books just to pass exams before they can be promoted? Even many of these old teachers are having sight challenges. What crime have they committed that will warrant that they have to go through these frustrations and embarrassments?”, he added. 

Revocation of Dr. Eric Nkansah’s appointment is untenable.

“Have you asked the government to remove them [unprofessional teachers] from the teaching field? Why can’t someone like Dr. Eric Nkansah, who taught students, not qualified to be Director General of the Ghana Education Service? This is someone who is all-rounded and rather well-positioned to attend to the numerous concerns of teachers. About 90% of teachers’ concerns have to do with money. So, if somebody with a banking background and teaching experience is appointed, is he not the best person with the requisite expertise to address the unresolved issues of teachers? We, the aggrieved teachers of the Upper East Region of Ghana, rather think GNAT should have been dancing and singing songs of joy for getting an expert to attend to the long unresolved demands. We will want to advise the leadership of GNAT to always hold consultations with their teachers to seek their good views before going to do certain things which do not give universal approval by teachers. A clear and immediate example is agreeing and contracting with the government on the one teacher, one laptop saga. Where are the so-called laptops? Many teachers have not yet received the laptops simply because due diligence was not done in terms of the modalities involved in supplying the laptops. The executive members of GNAT rather appear to be armchair leaders and quite discriminatory in describing the newly appointed Director General as unprofessional and inexperienced in GES matters. We, therefore, based on the arguments stated above, appeal to the leaders to rather give Dr. Nkansah the space and peace to work and rather support him to address the real issues confronting the teachers. And never use the association as a soccer bet for their own benefits.”

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1 MHz|Moses Apiah|Ghana

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