Pre-tertiary Education bills will destabilize teaching profession -Teacher Unions


The Pre-tertiary Education Unions has expressed concern that the new Pre-tertiary Education Bills, which seeks to decentralised the education system when passed will destabilize the teaching profession.

The Bill also seeks to empower the educational system to produce individuals with the requisite knowledge, skills and values, to become functional and productive citizens for national development.

The Unions however believed that the Bills would break the unified conditions of service under which workers work, stressing that “the unified teaching profession is non-negotiable”.

Mr Thomas T. Musah, the General Secretary, Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), stated at a press briefing in Accra, stressing that the Bills would destroy the organic teaching profession the founding fathers fought for, and attained under colonial rule.

The Pre-Tertiary Education Bill, 2019 is made up of 102 Clauses and one Schedule. Education Regulatory Bill, 2019, and Complementary Education Bill, 2019, have been submitted to Parliament for consideration and subsequently pass it into law.

The Schedule lists the Technical and Vocational Education, and Training institutions currently under the various Ministries, which shall be absorbed into the Service.

The Teachers Unions which included GNAT, National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Teachers, Educational Workers Union (TEWU), and Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT-GH), said they have not been engaged on the said bills.

Mr Musah, spokesman for the Teacher Unions, said after earlier press conference, Parliament invited them for a meeting with the Select Committee on Education on January 30, 2020, to solicit their views on the bills.

According to him, the Committee informed the Unions that, per the Bills, the Regional Coordinating Councils would manage the Senior High Schools while the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies would run that of basic Schools.

Whilst Technical and Vocational schools would be managed by their Director General, independent of the Ghana Education Service.

The Unions were of the view that, the Bills would not help in improving better teaching and learning in schools, because teachers were divided over the issue due to the inability of government to engage them in the discussions.

“We call on Parliament to suspend any further deliberations on the Bills until the Teacher Unions resolve all outstanding issues with the Ministry of Education as directed by the Chairperson of the Select Committee on Education,” he said.

Mr Musah said should Parliament not heed to their call, but go ahead with the discussions and finally pass the Bills, the Unions would advise itselves accordingly.

Mr Angel Carbonu, NAGRAT President, said there were inconsistency with the Bills, which needed broader consultation with key stakeholders like the Unions, but that was not done.

He said the Bills when passed imply that Teachers would be restricted to teach in a particular district, which is problematic and needed a consultative discussions to address the issue.

Responding to the concerns of the Unions in a press statement signed by Mr Vincent Assafuah, Director of Communications, Ministry of Education, said the petition have been referred to the sector Minister for further discussions.

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