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Ahafo Teachers Protest …Over ‘Unfair’ Dismissal   
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Over two hundred and fifty (250) Pupil Teachers in the Ahafo Ano North District in the Ashanti Region clad in red arm-bands; yesterday petitioned the District Director of the Ghana Education Service (GES), over what they described as unlawful and unfair dismissals.

The Director, Madam Monica Ankrah, last week handed over pupil teachers in the district letters terminating their appointments without prior notice, hence the protest.

Even though, Madam Ankrah’s action was pursuant to a GES directive to all pupil teachers, that their appointment with the Service would be renewable after a year, the teachers are wondering why the directive was started with teachers in the district.

To show solidarity and how appalled they were with the GES directive, some branch executives of the National Association of Teachers (GNAT), led by Ishaq Saani, the District Secretary joined the protestors on the street to demonstrate.

Worst still, banks that got wind of the termination of their appointments have withheld their salaries for September 2014- a situation that has brought unbearable hardships on especially those who are pursuing education in higher learning institutions.

“If they knew they were going to take such drastic actions without putting any human face to it, why did the directors sign our forms for us to be able to secure loans from financial institution, which spans 3 years and more?”, a distraught protestor told this reporter on telephone yesterday on condition of anonymity.

They are therefore, calling on GES to reverse its harsh decision and put a human face to it.

In a related development, the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) is accusing the Ghana Education Service (GES) of deliberately formulating “drastic” measures to worsen the plight of teachers in the country.

“The Ghana Education Service over a year or two now is embarking on policies that are so teacher-unfriendly”.

The Association said in most cases the Service takes decisions on impulse without any background investigation.

These sentiments were expressed on behalf of the Association by its National President, Christian Addai-Poku, in an interview with TV3’s Daniel Opoku on Wednesday, October 8, this year.

Mr. Addai-Poku was reacting to a recent decision by the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to suspend salaries of teachers operating joint bank accounts.

NAGRAT’s President insisted that those banks were rural banks most of the teachers were directed by district directors of education to open.

“If [the Accountant General] think that they no longer consider rural banks as banks in Ghana, let us know and let us take steps to migrate all those teachers to banks they consider better,” he said.

The over 15,000 teachers whose salaries have been suspended have up to October 15 to furnish the Department with details to have the decision reversed.

But NAGRAT says it does not trust the Department.

“They have always given us dates they have never fulfilled,” Mr. Addai-Poku said, accusing GES of being behind the move.

“We are asking GES, as a matter of urgency, to make sure that these teachers are paid by the end of October”.
Source: The New Crusading Guide

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