GES Council Not Aware of Deputy D-G’s Contract Extension
It is emerging that the Governing Council of the Ghana Education Service (GES), was not aware of the decision to extend the contract of the embattled former Deputy Director-General, Anthony Boateng, for a third time.
The Anchor is reliably informed the Council actually knows nothing about the decision, as members only got to know of the extension on Saturday, August 22, after the Presidency letter granting the request got leaked.
Sources told this paper, neither the Director-General, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa nor the Council Chair, Michael Kenneth Nsowah were in the known, as the news came to many on the Council as a surprise.
It, however, came up that it was a unilateral decision allegedly taken by the Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, without consulting the Council, whose core function is to advise him on policy formulation and the coordination of approved national policies, programmes and standards relating to Basic and Senior High Education delivery.
When The Anchor contacted the Council Chairman of GES, to find out if the council was consulted, he said he has no idea about Mr Boateng’s contract extension.
“As you can see from the letters, I have no idea about it. So, if that is the confirmation that you want, I have no idea. As you can see from the letters, none of them was copied to me,” he calmly stated.
However, in the case of other regional directors who are also due for retirement but are still at post, Mr. Nsowah said the council is working on such individuals and had written to them already.
“Oh, as for that, we are working on it; we have written to them. In fact, we are meeting on Wednesday. People have taken over for the meantime…so that one is being taken care of”.
According to him, letters have been dispatched to them to handover, but “We have to give them guidelines as to who (they) should handover to. [Because] if we are not careful, people will handover to juniors” who some of the directors may be senior to.
“So, we want to do the briefing as to who they should handover to – the most senior head in the region, because they are going to give instructions,” until substantive directors are appointed.
He explained that, the Council is being careful because, “how can a junior give instruction to senior?” stressing, “So, we want to be very careful”.
Governing body of the GES has its membership drawn from various Institutions including, the West African Examination Council (WAEC), the National Schools Inspectorate Authority (NaSIA), the National Teaching Council (NTC), the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), the Teacher Unions, the Ministry of Education (MoE), the Local Government Service Council (LGSC), the Faith Based Organizations (FBOs), and the Non-teaching Staff of the GES (TEWU).
Meanwhile, some teacher unions have waded into the ongoing controversy, urging the under-fire 62-year-old Deputy Director-General to decline his latest contract extension and bow out peacefully.
The teacher unions, namely Ghana National Association Teachers (GNAT) National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT-GH), Teachers Education Workers Union (TEWU) say the embattled educationist, should do the needful and proceed on retirement as expected of him.
They want Mr Boateng to reject the offer to stay one more year after his contract was extended twice.
The teacher unions are also calling on all directors of education, who have attained the retirement age of 60 years, to leave the Service by September 30 for peace to prevail.
In a statement sighted by The Anchor, the unions warned that failure to heed to their call will result in industrial action.
According to the teachers, in the event that Mr Boateng and many other directors stay on, any directive coming from them will be disregarded.
The statement dated, 22nd August, 2022 and signed by leadership of the four unions said, “The weekend has been inundated with concerns and agitations by the rank and file of education workers and pre-tertiary education and other stakeholders on the issue of post retirement contact extension to the Deputy Director General of Education and also the stay in office of other retired persons in education and the Ghana Education Service.
“The leadership of the unions and pre-tertiary education have assessed the situation and concerns and call on the former Deputy Director of GES Mr Anthony Boateng to respectfully decline the offer from the President and the Ministry of Education.”
“We also call on the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service to direct all retired persons in the GES to hand over immediately to the next in line and proceed on their compulsory retirement.
“If by 30th September 2022, such persons are still at post, we will call on our members to disregard directives issued by these persons,” the statement noted.
The latest twist to the controversy clearly contradicts media reports that GES staff are excited that Mr Boateng’s contract has been extended by government.
The concern by the teacher unions comes days after the Presidency announced in a statement a contract extension for the 62-year-old, who was due for retirement two years ago.
The Minister for Education and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bosomtwi, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, was instrumental in the request to have the embattled Deputy D-G stay on.
On Monday August 22, The Anchor had reported that Ghana Education Service was currently ‘boiling’, with some members of staff seething with anger, following the shocking news of extension-of-contract for its over-aged Deputy Director-General, Anthony Boateng; for the third time.
The latest extension granted the over 62years-old, appeared to have rocked the boat and currently tearing staff of GES apart, with some considering resignation out of frustration, describing the development as pure greed, contrary to he being due for retirement since August 16, 2020.
A letter from the Office of the President, dated 19th August, 2022 and signed by the Executive Secretary, Nana Bediatuo Asante said: “With reference to letter numbered DB287/436/01 dated 19th August, 2022, from the Honourable Minister for Education, Hon. Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, MP, on the subject matter above, I am pleased to inform you that the President of the Republic has granted you a further one-year contract of service as Deputy Director-General (Management Services) of the Ghana Education Service, effective 17th August, 2022 to 16th August, 2023.”
“It is expected that during this period of extension, you will continue in your current role and assist in the development of the National Education Institute as approved by the Cabinet,” the letter addressed to Mr. Anthony Boateng, and copied to the Vice President, Chief of Staff and Minister of Education indicated.
The Anchor has gathered that, the extension of Deputy Director-General’s contract has come as a big surprise to even some GES Council members.
But what is even more shocking, was the date the request for extension letter was written by the Minister of Education, DR. Yaw Osei Adutwum to Secretary to the Office of the President, which is last Friday, August 19; three clear days after Mr. Boateng’s contract had expired and with no consensus by the Council to extend same again.
Interestingly, Dr. Osei Adutwum’s letter, requesting for post-retirement extension service of Anthony Boateng, dated 19th August, 2022, was hurriedly granted the same day, the letter was written without any further delay.
The letter reads, “Reference is made to your letter OPS./08 /21/854 dated 2nd August, 2022 granting one year extension of Service to Mr. Anthony Boateng, Deputy Director General for the Ghana Education Service. Referencing the general principle and public policy on post retirement contracts in Ghana; I should be grateful to respectfully request for another one-year extension of contract for Mr Anthony Boateng, current Deputy Director-General, for Management Service, Ghana Education Service”.
“During the period of extension, Mr Anthony Boateng will continue his current role and assist in the development of the Ministry’s National Education Institute as approved by Cabinet.
It would be much appreciated if this request is kindly brought to the attention of His Excellency the President of the Republic,” it said.
The letter was title, “REOUEST FOR POST RETIREMENT EXTENSION SERVICE OF MR. ANTHONY BOATENG DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL (MANAGEMENT SERVICES – GHANA EDUCATION SERVICE”
The Anchor in the coming days, will expose the hypocrisy of the current Director-General, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, over his 2017 letter on the “Compulsory Retirement of Ghana Education Service Staff”, where he claimed that GES will not entertain any application for extension of service after the compulsory retirement age of sixty?
Anthony Boateng, was due for compulsory retirement since August 16, 2020; expected to go home and rest, but due to his alleged political links with the ruling party, has been refusing to bow out peacefully.
He has since been securing post retirement contract anytime the extension expires, a development which has denied other experienced and capable hands, the opportunity to serve.
The refusal by these retiree directors to go home honorably and offer the chance to equally-qualified people to continue – has left many of the staff at various departments and units at GES, extremely frustrated at their post.
More To Come…