Teacher Unions in the Eastern Region have jointly advised the government and Parliament to, as a matter of urgency, drop the proposed Pre-Tertiary Education Bill 2019 in order not to disturb pre-tertiary education in the country.
The unions are the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) and Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU).
According to the teacher unions, Parliament earlier invited them to meet with the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education which was considering the Bill to solicit the teacher unions’ view on the Bill.
The Eastern Regional teacher unions made this known in a press statement jointly signed and issued by their four respective chairmen: Messrs Kwame Kessie (TEWU), John Apo Selby (GNAT), Godwin Awoonor (NAGRAT), and Samuel Antwi (CCT-GH) and read on their behalf by the Eastern Regional GNAT Chairman, at the GNAT Hall in Koforidua last Tuesday.
The teacher unions, for the first time, came together to fight for a common goal in their respective union uniforms with red bands on their necks and wrists.
Speaking on behalf of the unions, Mr Selby recalled that at a meeting with the committee on February 4, 2020, they were informed that per the Bill, senior high schools would be managed or run by the Regional Coordinating Councils, basic schools would be run by metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies, while the technical and vocational schools would be taken care of by the Ghana Education Service (GES).
“This implies that by the arrangement, the GES will be shorn of its original mandate/powers and would now become a very feeble coordinator of pre-tertiary education in the country,” he stated.
Mr Selby said earlier the national leaderships of GNAT, NAGRAT, CCT-GH and TEWU registered their disapproval of the proposed Bill citing sections 18, 20, 23, 30, 31, 32 and 36 as having the tendency of destabilising the teaching profession.
“This will break the unified service now in place, break the conditions of service under which teachers work and lastly destroy the organic teaching profession their founding fathers fought and attained even under colonial rule and we told the Committee that the unified teaching profession is non-negotiable,” he explained.
Commitment of teacher unions
He said the unions noted with concern that after their national leadership’s press conference on February 14, 2020, the ministry stated that some of the issues raised by the unions at the press conference did not reflect the provisions of the Bill.
“We would be grateful if the ministry would bring to our notice the issues which we raised, which did not reflect the provisions of the Bill, for collective discussion for the good of us all as a country’’, the statement added.
Source: Daily Graphic
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