The National Conference of Principals of Colleges of Education-Ghana (PRINCOF) has addressed the social media publication by the Ag. National Secretary of CETAG about discussions and resolutions reached at their meeting with the PRINCOF Executive on Friday, 13th January 2023 at the PRINCOF House, Accra.
According to the release signed by Dr. Samuel-Addae Boateng, General Secretary of PRINCOF, they enlightened all the parties in the update.
The updates as indicated by PRINCOF are as follows:
On the issue of the academic calendar, they said the “Leadership of PRINCOF would like to thank both Teams (PRINCOF and CETAG) for their insightful inputs into the Draft Academic Calendar for 2022/2023 Academic Year.”
In addition, they said “as noted at the meeting, the modified Calendar shall be forwarded to the Minister through GTEC for approval. Once approved, it shall be circulated to all Affiliated Universities and Colleges of Education for implementation.”
Still, under academic calendar updates, PRINCOF explained that “Colleges shall adopt an extended teaching model to make up for the total number of credits needed for the 14-weeks tutorials per semester.”
“Each College shall prepare its own timetable to ensure that there are extended teaching/contact hours so that the shortfall in the number of weeks does not affect the total number of contact hours a student must receive in a course of study.”
“For example, if a student offers a course which has 3 contact hours per week, averagely, that translates into 42 contact hours for the Semester of 14 weeks. If the number of weeks is to be reduced for the semester, that student could do 4 contact hours weekly for 10 weeks or 3.5 contact hours weekly for 12 weeks to make the total of 42 contact hours required.”
“So, by adding 30 minutes per week or 1 hour per week to the contact hours for the course, the same number of contact hours for the Semester are covered within a shorter period.”
At the said meeting also, they agreed that “Colleges will assign level-specific teaching loads to tutors. AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, tutors would be assigned to Level specific courses so that if a level is (or levels are) on Break, the Tutors teaching those Students could rest as well.”
“That, notwithstanding, it was established that Tutors who teach beyond their maximum teaching loads shall be paid Extra Teaching Load Allowances as shall be approved by the various Governing Councils.”
“It was clearly stated that this would be a ‘College-Specific’ arrangement/payment and would not be a uniform one for all Staff of all Colleges, as is the practice in Tertiary Institutions.”
However, the meeting did not establish that the 2023/2024 academic calendar shall be modified after the Ministry had secured cabinet approval this year for the Colleges to begin admitting day/non-residential students.
“Rather, PRINCOF indicated that the model was one of the earlier alternatives proposed but that had policy implications.”
COMPENSATION FOR ALL-YEAR-ROUND-WORK-2021/2022
PRINCOF explained the compensation for the all-year-round work for the 2021/2022 academic year.
PRINCOF said the CETAG team requested an update from them on the payment of the compensation but they informed them (CETAG Team) that those concerns and the requested data had been sent to the Ministry of Education, through GTEC, for consideration.
In addition, PRINCOF explained that informal interactions suggest that the employer, in principle, understands the request and the response MAY be favourable.
Further, PRINCOF did not give a firm assurance that the compensation shall be paid as agreed but rather indicated that Principals were waiting for a letter from GTEC on the modalities for payment (i.e., GOG Only or GOG & IGF), IF APPROVED.
THE MEETING’S OUTCOME ON CETAG STRIKE
The leadership of PRINCOF appealed to CETAG to suspend its strike action since the situation could have further serious consequences on the academic calendar.
They (PRINCOF) pledged to engage the Ministry of Education and GTEC on the outstanding issues in order to restore serene environment on college campuses.
However, the CETAG Team indicated that they had been invited by the National Labour Commission for a meeting on Wednesday, 18th January 2023 so they would wait for the outcome of the meeting and thereafter take a decision.