Category Archives: Teacher Stories

Teacher trainee allowance restored – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced that the restoration of teacher trainee allowances has taken effect from Tuesday September 12 alongside the official launch of the free senior high school (SHS) programme. Continue reading Teacher trainee allowance restored – Akufo-Addo

Teachers demand payment of suspended August salaries

The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), is demanding that the government immediately resolves all anomalies preventing the payments of the August salaries to four thousand of its members. Continue reading Teachers demand payment of suspended August salaries

Students Exempted From Withdrawal Of Teacher Trainee Allowance

Deputy Minister for Education, Samuel
Okudzeto Ablakwa says continuing students at
the Colleges of Education are not affected by
the decision to withdraw allowances paid to
teacher trainees.

Mr. Ablakwa, therefore, described as factually
incorrect, the claim that the policy has been
scrapped.

His comment is in response to the threat by
teacher trainees in the Ashanti and Brong
Ahafo Regions to wear red arm armbands
from Monday, to protest the decision to
withdraw the allowance, which they say, is
their source of survival on campus.

“The Teacher Trainee allowance is the only
reason why teachers allow themselves to be
bonded which always sentence them to living
in the remotest and deprived corners of the
country,” Sector president, Asanzero John
Abotisun told journalists.

The Leadership of the Teacher Trainees
Association of Ghana (TTAG) is also asking
trainees in both regions to boycott classes on
Tuesday until government gives them a
listening ear.

But speaking to Joy News, Mr. Ablakwa said
withdrawal of the policy is not applicable to
continuing students but to those who have
been newly admitted to the Colleges of
Education this year.

“The policy has not been scrapped, continuing
students will still be receiving their
allowances until they graduate,” Mr. Ablakwa
stated.

He said the quota system which had been in
existence for almost three decades, has
become inimical to the progress of teacher
education hence the decision to remove it.

He said government has increased the
allocation for the Students Loan Trust “so
that they will have enough to support the
teacher trainees” who require financial
assistance.

Peacefmonline.com

Northern teacher trainees demonstrate

Some teacher trainees drawn from the three
Northern Regions on Thursday embarked on a peaceful demonstration in Tamale.

This was to protest against government’s
decision to withdraw allowances for teacher
trainees which according to them is their
hope of survival.

The angry teacher trainees clad in red
armbands combed through the principal
streets of Tamale and finally presented their
petition to the northern regional Minister’s
representative.

Citi Fm’s Mashoud Kombat reported that the
protesters took a swipe at government and
reiterated the need to rescind the decision of
scrapping the allowances.

Spokesperson for the protesters, Alhassan
Salifudeen Ibrahim hinted their endeavour to
continue with the protest till their concern is
addressed.

According to him, majority of teacher
trainees depended on the allowances to pay
their school fees.

With poor financial background, he said
majority of them will have to defer their
academic pursuit if government does not
rescind its decision.

In a related development, the Association of
Teacher Trainees in Colleges of Northern
Sector (ATTRICONS) has expressed its
disappointment in President John Dramani
Mahama for scrapping the allowances he
promised to increase when he was vice
President.

ATTRICONS in a petition to the President
reminded him of the promise he made when
they met him as then vice President in 2009
at the Castle.

The group kicked against the replacement of
the allowances with the students’ loan and
indicated that the two were incompatible.

By: Abdul Karim Naatogmah/
citifmonline.com/Ghana

Fair Wages, Vice Chancellors dodge Labour Commission hearing teachers’ grievances

The National Labour Commission (NLC) is to
subpoena the Fair Wages and Salaries
Commission (FWSC) and the Vice Chancellors
Ghana (VCG) for failing to appear at a hearing
between them and the Federation of
Universities Senior Staff Associations of
Ghana (FUSSAG) on Wednesday.

The subpoena will compel the two parties to
respond and also enter appearance on
Wednesday, December 4, 2013.

During its meeting about a fortnight ago the
two bodies were directed by the NLC to
respond to issues filed by FUSSAG at the
FWSC by Wednesday, November 20 for
hearing to resume on Wednesday, November
27.

According to the executives of FUSSAG they
were taken aback when the FWSC and VCG
did not turn up for Wednesday’s and
expressed strong reservation about the
attitude of the two bodies.

It announced the likelihood of embarking on
another strike if the situation was not
reversed.

It will be recalled that FUSSAG embarked on
an industrial strike after several calls to the
Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC)
to respond to its demands went unheeded
until the NLC intervened and called for
negotiations.

The Association among others demanded that
the FWSC immediately adjust the 2013 base
pay pending an expeditious negotiation,
compensation for exposure of some
university staff to excessive health and
occupational hazards.

They are asking that the interim market
premium for senior staff of public
universities should be extended to them to
ensure equity and fairness.
FUSSAG also called for the restoration of
special allowances to members.

Want to be a millionaire in Ghana? …Try District Director of Education Hyperbolic? Over the Top? Exaggeration? May be; You be the Judge.

By Ebo Mends

A few weeks ago, November 5th 2013 to be
precise, Ghanaweb published two reports
sourced to the Daily Guide with headlines:
Education Director Blows GHc 100,000
Teachers’ Money and Ghc 8.5 billion GES case
adjourned. I am sure the second figure of
8.5 billion was quoted in old Ghana Cedis.
On Saturday November 9, 2013, Ghanaweb
reported another of such stories captioned
“Payslips for Sale” sourced to The Mirror. This
report had nothing to do with the Education
Service, but the spirit and essence of the
reporting is the same.

The first two reports caught my not so sleepy
eyes because for the past several months, I
have heard from former colleagues and
family members in Ghana about this scheme
that SOME District Directors of Education
(DDEs) have hatched, obviously in
collaboration with others, to defraud the
Government of Ghana of hefty amounts of
money. The same scheme also deprives the
secondary victims, newly “hired” teachers
money that technically they may be entitled
to but in reality, they (the teachers) are not
supposed to get.

This is what I am told is the process
currently operating in most districts in
Ghana. These descriptions came from two
very reliable sources, very close to what is
happening
Potential teachers seeking employment with
the Ghana Education Service (GES) submit
applications with supporting documents –
Applications, Academic Certificates, birth
certificates and testimonials – all in 4 copies
each, to the offices of the DDE. The
applicants are called for interview, after a
review of such documents, appearing before
a panel comprising, in some instances, of 2
Education Supervisors from the DDE’s office,
The Human Resource Manager and a Posting
and Transfers Officer.

At the interview,
among other things, original educational/
academic certificates are inspected to
ascertain their authenticity. I must state here
that my information is that at times, these
interviews are mere formalities, just going
through the motions, satisfying a procedural
and legal requirement – to go offer
applicants the opportunity to be assessed on
their merits. I am told, most times, the
applicants to be hired are already known
since behind the scenes actions had made
sure of that.
“Successful candidates” are subsequently
called to the District Education Office to fill
out New Entrants forms and an IPPD form,
ostensibly for payment information including
Bank Account details for onward transmission
to the Controller and Accountant General
Department (CAGD) in Accra. At this stage, it
all but certain that the applicants have been
offered a job. However, at the time of filling
out the IPPD form, the exact posting of the
applicant may not be known but it is safe to
assume that there is a hint as to where the
newly hired teacher would be going.
Certainty is established when the
appointment letter finally arrives.

Another
thing; Districts prefer that banks through
which the future salaries should be are
normally local – that is, banks located mainly
in the district, preferably the district capital.

The waiting period between the time that an
IPPD form is completed and submitted to the
CAGD on behalf of an applicant and the time
that the processing of all the necessary
documentation to finalize an applicant’s
receiving a formal appointment letter could
be anytime between 6 – 12 months. It takes
another 6 – 12 months for these teachers to
start receiving salaries.

The first payment of
salaries comes with the backdated salaries
(for these teachers) starting from the date on
the formal appointment letters.
Folks, this is where things get interesting.

The teachers are not obliged to start teaching
from the date of their appointments, in fact,
they are not told by the DDEs to assume
their teaching posts. The reason being that,
both the newly hired teacher and the DDEs
know from experience that, the teachers
would not receive any payment for another
10 months or 12 months (1 year). According
to those I spoke to in Ghana, the DDEs don’t
bother to insist that the teachers begin
teaching from their appointed dates because
since the teachers would not be attending
classes regularly, if at all, and the said
schools would have teachers only in name.

These newly appointed teachers don’t also
bother to report at their posts because they
are certain they would not be paid for a long
time. This objective situation is what breeds
the corrupt practice of embezzling public
funds. Remember when the payment of
salaries start, they are accompanied by 10
-12 months or so of “back pay”. For SSS
graduates, the monthly salary is around 500
Gh C. For Diploma of Education holders
(certificate awarded by the University of
Education, Winneba through its sandwich
programmes), the salary is between 900 and
1200 Gh C. Just do the calculation, a 10 or
12 month arrears, is quite a hefty sum for
either category of the pay scale.

When the salary arrears arrive, the teachers
are now given their formal appointment
letters but not until they are asked to go and
withdraw the money and bring it to the DDE’s
office. The district officers including the IPPD
coordinators and the banks and others are all
into this. However the main driver of this
process is the DDE because he/she has the
appointment letters. When the money is
brought to the DDE’s office, all involved have
no legal right to it. The teacher has not
taught a single day for the period that the
arrears cover, and both the DDE and the new
teacher know this. Whatever money the new
teacher gets or is given by the district
education and other officials, is a bonus.

What I am told happens is that the DDEs take
the lion’s share – anything between 70% and
90% of the arrears and hands over the rest
to the teacher. Sometimes the DDE tells the
teacher he/she is returning the rest of the
money into government coffers, which is as
believable as a vampire hating blood or liking
garlic. Both the DDE and the teacher have
fleeced the government and committed a
crime in the process, but who cares or dares
to report them?

So many questions beg for answers:
• In this computer age, why would process of
inputting (into) the CAGD system, details of
hired personnel of any kind take between 6
to 12 months to complete?
• Why does it take so much time to generate
appointment letters to prospective candidates
for teaching jobs?
• While these lengthy processes are taking
place, what happens to our kids in the
schools without teachers?
• Do Regional Directors of Education know
about these delays and the corruptions that
they breed?
• Do Deputy Ministers of Education in charge
of basic education know what is going on
their sector of responsibility?
• Has the Minister of Education heard about
these delays and if so what has he/she done
about them (I know the current sector
Minister is Prof. Nana Jane Opoku-Agyeman –
former VC of UCC)
• Is it not surprising that there are BNI
district offices through-out the country but
these very obvious corrupt practices that are
a threat to our future security are going on
almost everywhere?
• How long has this been going on?
I have deliberately refrained from accusing
all DDEs of this apparent crimes/corruption. I
intentionally used the word SOME not to
paint all DDEs with the same brush; it would
not be fair to do that. The two articles I have
referenced mentioned other culprits because
to pull this scheme off, other districts
officials in other departments would have to
be involved as they are as accomplices.
What is sickening is the fact that this rather
unhealthy and terrible situation is being
allowed to continue without serious
consequences for those involved, at least
until recently. I can assure readers that this
is just the tip of the iceberg.
When the District Assemblies concept was
muted and implemented years ago, its main
selling point was to decentralize decision
making to the local levels, in the districts,
with the understanding that those close to
the scene would better understand the felt
needs of our people.

This responsibility
brought with it important decision making
powers, and flowing from that the need for
public servants to be upright in the exercise
of such powers. No one, certainly not this
writer, is calling for such people to be angels.
However, this complete abuse of power and
lack of trust do not augur well for the
development of our nation.

I am sure there are such practices all over
our public service. Until we check these
abuses and corrupt practices, it will take us a
very long time to achieve any meaningful
development in our dear country.
For those who think this is only an NDC only
or NPP problem, and will therefore be
looking to blame one political party or other
for this state of affairs, I say to you, look in
the mirror and tell me who/what you see. If
you see a Ghanaian, then that is your
answer. We are our own worst enemies.

EBO MENDS, NEW YORK
Ebomends2003@gmail.com

Another Sad Day for Ghanaian Education

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

In any situation of significant human
interaction, either professional or casual,
there are bound to erupt conflicts and
misunderstandings. What matters is how
problems are resolved. Tackled
constructively, both parties to a conflict are
apt to mature emotionally and develop
intellectually. Where matters are allowed to
degenerate into resentment and enmity, the
resulting damage can be physically
irreparable and psychologically and
emotionally devastating.

This appears to have been the case of 22-
year-old Ms. Charity Nyarko, a kindergarten
teacher at the St. Joseph’s Anglican
Preparatory School at Asuafo, near Nsuta, in
the Asante Region (See “Female Teacher
‘Beaten’ To Death In Ashanti Region”
Modernghana.com/ MyJoyOnline.com
11/26/13).

In the main, Ms. Nyarko is
reported to have excessively disciplined one
of her young charges which resulted in an
unspecified bodily injury to the child.
Naturally riled by the situation, some
relatives of the injured child decided to
literally take the law into their own hands by
assaulting Ms. Nyarko.

At least one of the injured child’s relatives is
reported to have retaliated by hurling a
nondescript chair at the “offending” teacher
who, in a self-defensive attempt to fleeing
her livid assailant, fell into an open gutter –
or sewage system – and severely injured
herself, resulting in her tragic death later at
the hospital. We are further informed that a
remorse-stricken Ms. Nyarko, accompanied
by the unnamed headteacher of her school,
had gone to the home of her injured pupil to
apologize for her apparently inappropriate
disciplinary measure when she was met with
the depraved hostility resulting in her death.

This is not the kind of Ghana I want to be
chest-out proud of. I am sick to my stomach
and heavy-hearted with anger and
disconsolate grief. As yet, we have not been
afforded the full details of the exact nature
of both the kindergartner’s offense and Ms.
Nyarko’s disciplinary response.

Whatever be the case, an unpardonable crime has been committed; a young talented and promising life has been needlessly wasted where adequate professional, and even legal, sanctioning would have amicably restored the faith of both parties in the most modern
acculturation system that we have known to
date.

By way of remedy, I would like to see three
forward-looking measures promptly instituted
in order to forestall the apparently
inappropriate punishment that resulted in the
bodily injury to the child, and the
consequently tragic demise of a young
teacher, at the dawn of a promising career,
who evidently believed that she was just
about the age-old rotuine pedagogical process
of not sparing the rod in order not to spoil
the child, in Biblical parlance.
One, strict and clear guidelines for pupil
discipline (perhaps in the form of a slim
volumed handbook) must be codified,
published and freely distributed throughout
the country by the Ministry of Education.

Two, a professional code of conduct for all
elementary and secondary school teachers
must also be clearly articulated in print and
made available to all public educational
institutions and be widely publicized in the
national media. And finally, a codified
behavioral guide for the parents and
guardians of schoolchildren must be published
and distributed across the country by the
Ministry of Education. The monetary and/or
capital resources invested in such a perennial
public-service project is likely to positively
pay off in the form of the creation of a
healthy environment for all stakeholders in
the academic and cultural development of
our children, as well as the future well-being
of the country at large.

It is almost certain that the assailants of Ms.
Nyarko had a troubled upbringing. Which, of
course, is in no way to imply that they ought
to be spared the most commensurately
punitive measures allowed by the law.
______________________________________________
_____________
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
Nov. 26, 2013
E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

Statement: Salaries of GES staff have not been reduced

– The Ministry of
Education (MOE) and the Ghana
Education Service (GES) on Friday denied
that the salaries of teachers in the
country have been reduced.

“Rather, the pay slips for October are
their real salaries after the completion
of the payment of salary arrears under
the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS)
and the 18 per cent salary hike for
workers”, Mr Paul Krampa, MOE
Director of Public Relations, said in a
statement to the Ghana News Agency in
Accra on Friday.

The statement explained that the MOE
and GES had noted with concern the
compliant by some teachers that there
was a sudden decrease in their October
salaries.

“But enquiries from the Controller and
Accountant General’s Department
revealed that the arrears paid under
the implementation of the SSSS and the
18 per cent salary increment for the
public sector workers had been
completed,” the statement stated.

The statement said all GES staff on the
government pay roll had from October
2012 been reverted to previous pay
slips, which always indicated the base
salaries together with arrears being paid
for the particular month.

“All GES staff who contracted loans from
other third party entities and were
previously not being deducted have now
been captured and are being deducted
from October 2012,” it added.

The government approved the payment
of arrears in the single spine salaries in
January 2010 while payment of the
arrears in respect of 18 per cent salary
increment was effected simultaneously
and ended in September 2012.

GNA

Teachers Serve Strike Notice

COALITION OF Concerned Teachers (CCT),
made up of about 32,000 teachers across
Ghana have threatened to embark on
industrial action over several key issues that
are hampering their work, including
government’s failure to provide them chalks
and notebooks for teaching.

The aggrieved teachers have consequently
given the government a 10-day ultimatum to
quickly address their concerns in order to
prevent them from laying down their tools
latest by November 12, 2012.

In a release to the press, authored by
General Secretary of the CCT D.R. Boakye,
he lamented over the present situation of
teachers having their salaries for October
2012 slashed down at an astonishing level.

“Indeed, teachers all over the country were
expecting a reduction in salaries in the
month of October due to completion of
payment of salary arrears in September.
“However, a situation where some teachers’
salaries have been slashed down by an
amount greater than the usual salary arrears
is very unfortunate and untenable,” he
noted.

Mr. Boakye said that majority of their
members went to the bank only to realize
that their salaries had been slashed down by
about 50 percent of their gross amount; a
situation which had heightened their plight.

He mentioned government’s refusal to
commence negotiations on Category 2 and 3
and Market Premium of teachers, non-
payment of Capitation Grant, non-issuance of
pay slips and non-placement of teachers who
have been promoted, as some of their
concerns.

He said “the CCT sees the above mentioned
issues as a deliberate attempt by government
to proceed with its grand agenda of
impoverishing teachers and the CCT takes
strong exception to this plan of government.”

Mr. Boakye noted that “we can no longer
continue to render our services to the nation
while we retire as paupers, not to talk of the
hardships our families are going through.”
As professionals, he said, they deserved the
best from the fruits of their labour, noting
“the CCT is directing heads of first and second
cycle schools to close down all public schools
in the country, effective November 12,
2012.”

He said the strike was in protest of
government’s grand agenda: “this strike is a
strike of no return until all the demands
stated above are met,” adding any teacher
that would defy the directive would be dealt
with severely.

Mampong Municipal Chairman of CCT, George
Acquaah said teachers were now being forced
to use their own monies to buy chalks to
teach, bemoaning that teachers were being
given a rough deal by the government “and
we think we have had enough so it is time
for us to strike.”

FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi
DailyGuideGhana.Com