NAGRAT gives ultimatum

The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) yesterday gave government a two-month ultimatum to resolve matters surrounding payment of subventions to education offices, salary arrears and promotion of teachers.

Addressing a press conference in Accra, the president of NAGRAT, Mr. Christian Addai-Poku, urged the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to urgently respond to the three issues before the end of October, or face the wrath of teachers across the country.

According to the NAGRAT president, most education offices were in deplorable state because subventions to run them had not been released.

Mr. Addai-Poku said some of the officers had not received subvention since 2012, while others had not been able to access their funds due to cumbersome processes and late release of such funds.

“From the headquarters of GES, through the regional and district directorates to the schools, payment of subventions for administration has been in arrears over many years. Our investigations shows that district directorates of education have not received government subventions since 2012,” he said.

On the issue of salary arrears, Mr. Addai-Poku said up-to-date, government had not been able to complete the validation exercise, which was a prerequisite for the payment of all teachers’ salary arrears.

He said the association was expecting government to complete the validation by the end of October else teachers would advise themselves.

Mr. Addai-Poku noted that teachers due for promotion had not been given any attention while interviews for promotion of teachers the 2015-2016 academic year had not begun though it was expected to start in February this year.

“As of now, teachers are in the dark as to when the exercise will begin, all because the service has no funds to run. We are about to begin another academic year next week. Teachers who attended the interviews for the past three years have not been put on scale for the same reason.

“It is pathetic that managers of education could renege on their duties with such impunity but are quick to punish teachers for every little form of infraction,” he stressed.

He said poor performance in basic and high schools was due to lack of government commitment to address confronting teachers and education and, therefore, urged President John Mahama to solve the problem.

Mr. Addai-Poku expressed worry about how government was implementing education interventions such as the School Feeding Programme, free distribution of textbooks, uniforms and sandals.

He said government could not effectively implement such programmes if it failed to encourage the participation of stakeholders and put in an efficient management system to ensure quality teaching and learning.

According to Mr. Addai-Poku, the investments including the 30 per cent budget allocation to education, would yield little results if government failed to address those concerns raised by the association and other stakeholders in the education value chain.

By Charles Amankwa

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