GNAT protests against compelling teachers to attend fee-paying workshop

General secretary of GNAT Mr. Thomas Musah
General secretary of GNAT Mr. Thomas Musah

Leadership of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) protests against compelling teachers to attend a compulsory fee-paying Continuous Professional Development (CPD) supposedly planned by National Teaching Council (NTC) Service Providers.

Mr. Thomas Tanko Musah, the General Secretary of GNAT, in a statement said, the Association’s attention has been drawn to Teachers being compelled by some District Directors of Education to attend a purported National Teaching Council (NTC) accredited service providers training for Teachers in Public Schools circulating on social media, being run by a group calling itself, Positive Future Educational Consult Ltd (PFEC), which claims to be experts in Teacher Education, Continuous Professional Development and Educational Research.

“With authorization by the National Teaching Council, and some District Education Offices (eg. Ketu South Municipal Education Directorate letter. Ref GES/VRMED/40/SF3/2021 22 of 15 October, 2021.

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Ref GES/ASH/ANND/ADM/21/152, enclosed) and do hereby react to it as follows”

According to the General Secretary, the Ghana National Association of Teachers, GNAT, is not against Teachers seeking to upgrade themselves, through Continuous Professional Development, since per Article 3(1)(a) of its 2018 amended Constitution, the Association seeks to promote high academic standards and professional competence (of its members). Also, educational programmes should be designed, developed and revised through experiment and research, to promote the full development of the child and the nation.

“Taking cognizance of the above notwithstanding, the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) opposes any attempt to entrust the Continuous Professional Development of Teachers, which should be the onus of the employer to the NTC and its private accredited service provider entities such as Positive Future Educational Consult Ltd (PFEC).”

“We also wish to draw attention to the Part Three of the Education Regulatory Bodies Act, 2020, Section 60(a) which provides the functions of the National Teaching Council (NTC), as advising the minister on matters relating to the Professional Standing, licensing of teachers and not engaging accredited service providers to organize CPD for Teachers.”

CHECK THIS: Collective Agreement between GES and Teacher Unions in Education Service

“We note that the role of the GES as lead Agency for the implementation of approved policies and programmes in the Pre-tertiary level is being subsumed by the NTC. This makes the NTC both as a Regulator and Implementer which should not be. The GES as the lead implementing agency should have responsibility for CPD in all Regions Districts and not the NTC. Flowing from this, we caution the NTC to stay within its mandate, in the interest of industrial harmony.”

“We wish to call on the Director General of Education, to call to order all those in GES management and entreat them to be mindful of Section 24.1 of the Collective Agreement for Teaching Staff within the Ghana Education Service (GES), August 2020, which enjoins the Ghana Education Service to organize systematic in-service (for teachers) as a means of improving (their) efficiency and effectiveness, and therefore entreat you again to call the NTC and their service providers, together with the District Directors who are compelling teachers to attend the said CPD programmes to order, so as to avert unforeseen developments the front.”

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“Whereas it is the statutory duty of the NTC to accredit, in collaboration with relevant agencies, institutions offering teacher education and development programmes, it must be stated, that it is the statutory core objective of the GES under Section 8 of the Education Act 2020 (Act 1049), to provide coordination and harmonisation for the effective and efficient delivery of basic and senior high education in the country. Therefore, to achieve the objective of the Education Service, the GES is responsible for the coordination of standards and direction for the effective and efficient implementation of approved national policies and programmes relating to basic and senior high education delivery, and should be seen to do that.”

Again, Section 9(d) of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) indicates that in any contract employment or collective agreement, the duties of an employer shall include developing the human resource by way of training and retraining. Also, Section 24 of the GES and Teacher Unions Collective Agreement (2020), stipulates that the GES shall organize systematic in-service programmes as a means of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of employees. This shall include teachers to be promoted and those promoted to higher management positions.

“Lastly, we wish to caution that any attempt to subvert the Collective Agreement, which was painstakingly developed and signed by the GES and the Unions, would be a slap in our face, and would thus not be countenanced should the GES and whoever are concerned ignore our plea and go ahead with their own schemes, we wish to state, that they would have themselves to blame.”

“For ease of reference enclosed, please find flyers and training programme for cohort 2 Teachers in Agona West (Central Region), copy of Ketu South Municipal Education Directorate circular on the subject matter, as well as copy of GES Atwima Nwabiagya North District’s circular.”

SOURCE: Coverghana.com.gh

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