The Central Region Regional Chairman of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Augustine Kofi Pennin insists that although the teachers union is in support of government's Free Senior High School (SHS) Programme it has some serious concerns about the manner in which the double track system for public senior high schools is being implemented.
"NAGRAT is not against the FREE SHS, NAGRAT is not against the double-track system... It's how the policy has been rolled out especially for the double track system that we have a beef with the government," Mr Panyin said during the Daily Graphic/STAR-Ghana National Dialogue on Education held on Thursday, August 23 in Cape Coast.
"We think the government should really respect our views, In fact, when it comes to the Senior High, NAGRAT may be more than 50% (of the teaching staff). In fact, we are so committed, the government should have consulted us but we have moved further.
"Currently, the dialogue has to go on and the government has to show commitment. Currently, the government just run to the radio stations through their own communicators and that is very, very bad. In fact, they need to stop that thing once and for all".
Mr Pennin during an interaction at the dialogue explained that NAGRAT was just pointing out some of the problems that the policy is likely to face during its implementation.
"We want to just say to the whole nation that NAGRAT is not and we have not stated it any book or any print that we are against the policy. We have come out with the teething problems and we have addressed and we are expecting that government will listen to some of the things we have said".
The dialogue held at the SAMRIT Hotel, Cape Coast was themed: Unpacking the Double Track System: Ensuring Access, Quality and Sustainability. Similar events have already been held in Accra and Takoradi (August 17).
The next dialogue in the series will take place on August 28th at Tamale.
About Strengthening Transparency Accountability and Responsiveness in Ghana (STAR-Ghana)
STAR-Ghana is a multi-donor pooled funding mechanism - funded by UK aid (DFID), DANIDA, and the EU. It exists to increase the influence of civil society and work with the government to improve service delivery, with the ultimate goal of improving the accountability and responsiveness of Ghana’s government, traditional authorities and the private sector.
STAR-Ghana has a vision to see an active and engaged civil society capable of articulating citizens’ demands and an effective state that is responsive and accountable to its citizens.
Previous programmes organised by STAR-Ghana, include: the Rights and Voice Initiative (RAVI, 2004-10); the Ghana Research and Advocacy Programme (G-rap, 2005-11); KASA (2008-10); and the Civil Society Governance Fund (CSGF, 2004-10).