ATAG Disappointed In Teacher Unions Demand For Acting GES Director Removal

The All Teachers Alliance Ghana (ATAG) has singled itself out of the GNAT, NAGRAT and CCT-Gh’s protest against the appointment of the acting Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Dr Eric Nkansah.

ATAG sees more pressing needs of teachers over which the three teacher unions must protest than the appointment of the D-G.

The leadership of National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT-Gh) have kicked against the appointment of the acting GES D-G saying he is “not qualified by any standard” to hold that position.

According to the NAGRAT, Dr Nkansah is “not a teacher. He is a banking officer who was a special assistant in the office of the Minister and has been appointed as the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service. We are not happy with this development.”

GNAT which has given the government a 4-day ultimatum to revoke the appointment of Dr Nkasah has described the appointment as “unfortunate and untenable”.

“Council found the replacement of Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa with Dr. Eric Nkansah, the Banker, as both unfortunate and untenable. In the circumstance therefore, Council calls for the revocation and subsequent appointment of an Educationist to occupy that office, by 4th November 2022,” a communiqué issued by GNAT at the end of the 2022 mandatory National Council Meeting said.

Leadership of CCT-Gh has made a similar call.

But ATAG finds their agitation as a misplaced priority.

“After going on strike due to the high cost of living, teacher unions negotiated for a 15% COLA. Before the demand, the teaching community was dealing with several concerns that required equal attention. However, the unions choose to focus their justification for COLA on the high cost of living.

“The profession is still plagued by problems with promotions and transfers, and it doesn’t appear that the teacher unions have made any desperate attempts to guarantee that these problems are remedied. Far from it; after negotiating substandard laptops for teachers, GNAT, NAGRAT, and CCT’s credibility is now in question. They were able to successfully deduct teachers’ salaries, but they were unable to guarantee that all teachers received the laptops in the same manner.”

ATAG believes instead of calls for “unproductive” strike action, the unions must seek redress in a law court or petition the President or Minister for Education over the appointment.

“Teachers need to be aware of the following: The DG is chosen politically. No teacher or GES employee automatically holds the position of Director General; The administrative nature of the Director General’s position means that it can be filled by the most seasoned administrator from a variety of backgrounds; The DG works collaboratively. He is supported in his duties at the Headquarters by three other sub-directors; and A mistaken impression that the new DG is only a banker is also present. That is untrue. The new DG had previously taught in tertiary and SHS settings. Additionally, he has done a lot of work for the Ministry of Education.”

Following the termination of the appointment of Prof Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa in a letter dated October 17, Dr Nkansah was appointed on October 19 to act in his stead.

His appointment, although pending constitutionally required advice of the governing council of the GES, took effect on Wednesday, October 19.

Before this appointment, Dr Nkansa was the Technical Advisor/Director in charge of Tertiary Education at the Ministry of Education after a secondment by Kumasi Technical University (KsTU).

He first worked as Sales Manager of the Krofrom Branch of Barclays Bank of Ghana-now Absa Bank- for six years. While there, he worked as a lecturer at the Banking and Finance Department of Garden City University College on a part-time basis.

Subsequently, he became a part-time Lecturer at the KNUST Institute of Distance Learning (IDL) and Business School.

He then joined Career Spring Institute- a private consulting firm licensed to provide training for members and potential members of local and international professional programmes and specialised training for small, medium, and large corporations- as the Executive Director.

In 2012, he joined Kumasi Technical University where he was a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Banking Technology and Finance.

Prof. Amankwa, whose appointment was terminated on October 17, had held the position since 2017.

According to the President’s Secretary, Asante Bediatuo, Akufo-Addo ordered the termination of his appointment after the Ministry of Education (MoE) said it no longer required his skills.

Also, the secretary of the President cited a breach of the Human Resource Framework and Manual of the Public Service Commission in the extension of his secondment from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in June 2022.

“The Ministry of Education has informed this office that the exigencies that required your skills and expertise and the Director General of the Ghana Education Service no longer exist. Moreover, the extension of your secondment by the 14th June 2021 letter is in contravention of the Human Resource Framework and Manual of the Public Service Commission as it purports to extend your secondment by the 3-year maximum limit”, a letter from the President’s secretary said.

Source: Fuseini

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