The National Council of National Association of Graduate Teachers, NAGRAT, has expressed its disappointment at the “snail pace and nonchalant approach to the issue of salary and other arrears adopted by the employer.”
According to NAGRAT, they have watched in disbelief, the wanton [ads1]disrespect for teachers and the incessant termination or abandoning of promises, pledges and memorandum regarding the payment of arrears.
In a communique signed and issued by the President, Eric Agbe-Carbonu and Secretary, Samuel Frank Dadzie, at the end of the National Council meeting held in Accra on the 9th February, 2018, NAGRAT said the teachers cannot longer hold their patience and will take necessary action soon. “Despite the promises made by the government, and indeed the capturing of that promise in the 2017 budget to pay those arrears, the government has reneged on that promise. The patience of Teachers has been stretched to its elastic limit and will break sooner than later.”
It has therefore urged government as a matter of urgency, to take steps to pay all outstanding arrears by March, 2018. The Council said no further excuses will be tolerated and will advise itself if the arrears are not paid by 30th of March, 2018.
Council revealed that Teachers are not Civil Servants and therefore cannot close from school at 4.30 pm and therefore it is dismayed at the “subtle attempts by the Ghana Education Service and its surrogates to unilaterally extend the instructional hours of teachers”. It stated that Instructional Hours is an issue of Collective Agreement and “no one can unilaterally change that without recourse to our Collective Agreement.”
The Council called for an immediate stop to the practice and demanded that all Directors and Heads of Schools engaged in the practice are called to order. It also advised it members to resist any attempts by any head of school to extend their school time illegally, indicating that “the Ghanaian Teacher is already over-stretched by bloated class size that keeps ballooning from social interventions that overlooks the centrality of the teacher in education delivery. Several critical factors such as the number of different lessons assigned to be taught each day; participation in research, in co -curricular and extra -curricular activities, in supervising duties and in counseling of pupils and students all make huge demands upon the time of the teacher without being compensated for. It is therefore a mark of insensitivity and over-exuberance by some heads of schools to arrogate to themselves the right to extend the work time of the teacher.”
NAGRAT said it is unhappy with the current format of Lesson Notes preparation in the Ghana Education Service and has directed it members to prepare and present Updated Lesson Notes from next term. Teachers will prepare their lesson notes using ICT tools and present it either in soft or hard copies. They will access and integrate relevant materials from the internet and other sources and update their lessons as and when necessary. This according to them, will give full effect to technology integration in education and will eliminate the re-writing of the same notes year in-year out. The National Council of NAGRAT is therefore calling on the Heads of Schools and GES to accept any Lesson Notes prepared through the use of technology.
“In the twenty first century where technology is driving economies, it beats our understanding why officials of the GES insist that teachers prepare Lesson Notes in an unproductive and colonial format. Obsession with the archaic, copious and conservative format not only takes a significant amount of the teachers’ time, but clearly does not correlate to actual teaching in the classroom.” It concluded.