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General News Sun, 3 Mar 2019

Teacher unions have no right to resist GPS policy – Casely-Hayford

Social commentator Sidney Casely-Hayford says the teacher unions’ contentions with the Ghana Partnership Schools (GPS) initiative are unjustified.

He suggested on The Big Issue that the unions are more concerned with their egos after the apparent lack of consultation from the government on the policy.

Mr. Casely-Hayford insisted that “the unions should not be resistant to this because managing a school doesn’t mean you are disbanding a union.”

“The unions have no right to object to what is being done because it doesn’t affect them in any way. It doesn’t disband them. It doesn’t stop them from being a union. It doesn’t stop them from fighting for the rights of their members. They are only objecting because they were not consulted. So it’s got nothing to do with the concept. It’s just got to do with their egos.”

He did admit that the concerns with the policy was a communication problem from the government saying “the Ministry of Education has not been able to clarify exactly what they are trying to do and that is where the problem lies.”

Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga, however, felt the complaints were warranted because of the lack of clarity from the government.

Siding with the unions, the former deputy Education Minister said, “there is no clarity so you can understand even when the unions who are in education don’t understand what it is about and yet they are in education and they are supposed to understand the issues. So there is some legitimate concern that the unions can raise.”

Though the government has no intention of backing down from the policy, the four teacher unions intend to fight the government’s moves.

President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Angel Carbonu said teachers in the country will do everything possible to make government rescind the decision.

“We are determined [to fight this] because our jobs are on the line, our dignity is on the line, our professionalism is on the line and so we are ready to take this to the hill,” he said.

NAGRAT and the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) have previously complained to the Akufo-Addo government because of their exclusion from the development of educational policies.

“The teacher unions wish to register their displeasure in the strongest terms for the deliberate and persistent exclusion from the formulation and subsequent implementation of some educational policies e.g. Ghana partnership schools,” the two groups said in an earlier statement.

Source: citinewsroom.com
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