Teachers Unions have called for the immediate suspension of the policy requiring all In-Service Teachers to pay GH¢200.00 to secure their Teacher Professional Licences.
The policy also required of teachers to pay a renewal fee of GH¢100.00 every two years.
The call was contained in a statement signed and issued in Accra by President of Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Ms Philippa Larsen, president of National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Mr Eric Angel Carbonu and the President, Coalition of Concerned Teachers-Ghana (CCT-GH), Mr King Ali Awudu.
“We must emphasise that failure to suspend it, would leave the teacher unions with no option than to advise ourselves accordingly,” the statement warned.
They cautioned further that should the National Teaching Council (NTC) fail to heed to “our call and go ahead with the implementation of the payment of the said GH¢200.00 and GH¢100 respectively, the leadership of the Teacher Unions would not be able to control the actions of its members.”
According to the three Teacher Unions, they were shocked by a statement attributed to the Executive Secretary of the NTC, Mr Christian Addai-Poku about the payment during a sensitisation programme for In-Service Teachers on Teacher Professionalism at the St Mary Senior High School in Accra, which was carried in the media and widely circulated on social media.
“It must be stated that the Teacher Unions in a meeting with the Ministry of Education (MoE), Ghana Education Service (GES) and the NTC from November 1-3, 2018, in Accra, regarding concerns raised by the Teacher Unions, on the formulation and subsequent implementation of the Pre-Tertiary Teacher Professional Development Management (PTPDM) Policies excluded the inputs of the Unions.
Subsequently, it said the Unions received six documents from the NTC under a covering letter dated June 21, 2019, which clearly showed after that the inputs of the unions had indeed been disregarded.
“We wish to emphasise that prior to the Oyarifa Meeting, the Teacher Unions had submitted our inputs into the PTPDM Policy but surprisingly, not only did the NTC fail to respond to the letter, but also ignored the inputs and concerns made by the unions into the said documents.
The MoE, it noted, then requested that the Teacher Unions re-submitted their inputs despite all the associated challenges, the Unions indeed submitted “our inputs the second time to the MoE, NTC and GES.
The Unions contended that subsequently, the Oyarifa Meeting agreed among other things that a valid Professional Teaching Licence would be for a period of four years, that all fees (registration and renewal) must be negotiated with the unions before implementation and the modalities for fixing the fees must be incorporated into the policy document.
The statement said it is therefore surprising and disturbing that the NTC had gone to announce the duration and fees, without prior social dialogue with the Teacher Unions which are social partners and critical stakeholders in the education enterprise, have consistently demanded engagements on the process in order not to undermine the implementation of the policy.
BY TIMES REPORTER