GNAT asks government to pay attention to GES’ scheme of service
“We are saying that the appointing authority should do the right thing by ensuring that particular attention is paid to the scheme of service of the GES,” Mr Benedict Akpem, the Builsa District Secretary of GNAT, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview at Sandema.
“By the scheme of service, we mean the career progression of teachers. This means you must start at a certain level and rise through the ranks before you get to the director-general position. But this has been flouted by the appointing authority.”
He noted that the lowest rank in the teaching profession was Superintendent II.
Mr Akpem said the scheme frowned on the appointment of Dr Eric Nkansah as Director-General of the GES and that the appointing authority must adhere to the status quo.
He said former directors-general of the Service had risen through the ranks in the teaching profession, and, therefore, the GNAT and its sister associations had no issues with their appointments.
The GNAT, the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) are on strike over the appointment of Dr Nkansah, a banker, as the GES Director-General and to press home the need for better conditions of service.
“We are not against Dr Eric Nkansah in particular, but we are against the fact that they have not followed the scheme of service as far as the GES is concerned. That is the crux of our concern,” Mr Akpem said.
He said the strike action was the last resort when the employer decided not to pay attention to their concerns after the November 4 ultimatum was issued.
The consequences of the strike were of concern to the GNAT, he said, but added that: “We need the employer to be proactive, so that strikes will be a thing of the past. It is not in our best interest to strike so that students will suffer.”
The effects of teachers’ strike were a lost of contact hours, which created a backlog of work and lessons to cover with students and that put pressure on members of the Association, Mr Akpem said.
“We feel for parents and the children that are entrusted in our care, but we believe that the right thing should and must be done by the employer. They should not side-step the laid down procedures and do that, which favours them,” he said.
The GNA observed in Sandema that all public schools, except the second cycle institutions in the Municipality, were closed owing to the nationwide strike action declared on November 4 by the teacher unions.