The teachers of Mole Junior High School in the West Gonja District of Northern Ghana fear they may lose their October Salary.This follows a decision by the District Education Office to relieve their headmaster who is recognised by the Controller and Accountant General as the official validator of the school of his duty over some disagreement.
The headmaster,Mr.Adam Alhassan in a letter dated 7th June,2017, was relieved of his duty and subsequently transfered to teach in a primary school over what the District Office described as “gross disrespect for the entire Directorate”.
The disagreement which culminated into the decision to relieve the headmaster of his duty is as presented in the narrative below:
1.Mr.Adam Alhassan was given a letter dated 7th June,2017, relieving him of his duty as the headmaster of Mole Junior High School.
2.He was then transferred from the school to a primary school as a classroom teacher and an acting headmaster appointed to assume his duties.
3.At the time of the action,the District Director,Madam Felicia A. ‘S Feiko had also received a letter dated 17th January,2017, to proceed on retirement by 6th March,2017.
4.The demoted headmaster said he was not briefed on the reason for his sanction.Stated in his letter of demotion was,”….This is as a result of gross disrespect for the entire directorate on a number of times”.
5.Not satisfied with the reason so stated,Mr.Adams tried to enquire from the office the kind of disrespect but received no response.
6.He then decided to report the matter to his mother union in the district,GNAT to intervene in his situation.
7.The District GNAT Secretary, Mr. Samuel Sarfo Antwi upon investigation found out that,the Headmaster was being victimised on these grounds:
a.His inability to take part in the terminal exams the district contracted with a private examination body.This is because anytime the district organised such private exams,he is unable to pay for the papers since his pupils usually find it difficult to meet the payment deadline.The school is located in a deprive community and pupils simply cannot afford such fees.
Also,the exam questions are always out of syllabus making it difficult for the children to answer.
In short,the exams was always fraught with mistakes and challenges that made the work of the school difficult.
b.He was late for a headteachers emergency meeting because the invitation was sent through a whatssap message a night before the meeting date which he could not access for lack of data.
8.Mr. Antwi,the GNAT secretary consulted the HR and expressed a concern that due process as prescribed in the teachers code of conduct and laid down procedure of settling work place disputes by the labour Act 651 and GES ACT 506, 1995 were not followed.
He demanded that due procedure must be followed in addressing the issue.
9.He Followed it up formally with a letter dated 8th June, 2017.
- On the 20th June, 2017,the GNAT Secretary wrote a letter of reminder because,no response was received from the date of the first letter.
- The complainant (relieved headmaster) on the point of frustration reported the matter to CHRAJ on reason that his fundamental human right has been trumpled upon.
12.The acting District Director upon summon by CHRAJ pleaded and requested that the CHRAJ allow out of court settlement and for due process to be followed.
13. The office then responded to the GNAT request to constitute a committee to investigate into the matter.
- GNAT submitted a letter dated 29th August,2017,to request for a representation on the committee.
The DEO refused to call for the committee sitting but went ahead to force the headteacher out of office on the 22nd September, 2017.
16.A decision the teacher and GNAT felt was a total breach of the law and the order from CHRAJ to settle the matter out of court and by due procedure.
The matter has been reported back to CHRAJ .
CHRAJ has written to the District Education Office to respond within 7 working days upon which full investigation shall be conducted if they refuse to respond.
19.The complainant admitted he went through competitive interview and faced a well constituted panel to be elevated to the headmaster status.He has also organized series of mock examination for his final year students from his own resources including terminal exams because the children cannot afford to pay.He has recorded best grades for the school during his tenure of office to the commendation of his staff members.
- Now,the fear of the staff is that,he is the only person recognised by Controller and Accountant General Department to validate them.And since he has been relieved of his responsibilities,their Salaries are in limbo because they may fail validation.
- They pray for immediate intervention from higher authorities.
22.The relieved headmaster is also calling for a reversal of the decision which he described as unfair and without merit.
Source: Abraham Ananpansah