Teacher Unions Reject Minister’s ‘Darling Boy’
A former Special Assistant to the Minister of Education, who was appointed as the new acting Director-General (D-G) of the Ghana Education Service (GES), has been rejected by the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT).
According to NAGRAT, Dr. Eric Nkansah, a banker, who was just appointed by President Akufo-Addo, last Wednesday, October 19, is not fit for purpose.
The embattled appointee, who, according to the aggrieved teachers, has no background in teaching, was handed the position last week to replace the sacked D-G, Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, who was appointed in 2017.
They have thus called for his immediate withdrawal.
“The gentleman who has been appointed is qualified as a banking officer, who has done some small stints of teaching with Kumasi Polytechnic in those days. When the Minister was appointed, he became a special assistant to the minister and does not have any credentials or qualification to be director-general of the Ghana Education Service.
“We are calling for his removal, he is not qualified to be director-general of the Ghana Education Service and his presence will not motivate professionals who have been in this Service for more than 20 to 30 years and have risen to higher ranks within the Ghana Education Service,” NAGRAT said.
At a presser in Accra, the president of NAGRAT, Angel Carbonu, said they had anticipated the appointment of a person with education background and not a banker.
He said the appointment indicates that there are no able and qualified teaching professionals to see to the sector.
“What annoyed and surprised all of us was that a new Director General has been appointed to the Education Service. The authority to appoint Director General of GES is the President of the land.
“Unfortunately, contrary to what the teachers unions indicated that, we will want a Director-General who is a professional teacher, who has passed through the mill, who can bring his knowledge to, skills, and influence to bear on the activities of teachers and non-teachers in the GES,” he said.
He added, “Contrary to that, the gentleman who was appointed yesterday is not a teacher, he is banking officer, who was a special assistant in the office of the Minister and has been appointed as the DG of the GES.”
“We are not happy with this development; it is as if we don’t have professionals and well educated people who have gone through the mill in education in this country to run education,” he argued.
Giving the history of past D-Gs and their appointment, the teachers further argued, “If you look at the history of directors-general of the Ghana Education Service, they are either senior officers within the Ghana Education Service, or professors from universities, who have an education background and we can take them one after the other and you’ll see and know their credentials.”
LastWednesday October 19, President Akufo-Addo appointed Dr. Nkansah as the new D-G for the GES, two days after the substantive, Prof. Opoku-Amankwa, was booted out.
His new role took effect the same day his appointment was announced.
“I take this opportunity to congratulate you formally on your appointment. Kindly indicate your acceptance or otherwise of this appointment within 14 days of receipt of this letter,” the statement from the Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education has reacted angrily to the rejection by the teacher unions, describing their action as shameful and illogical.
In the view of the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ministry, Kwasi Kwateng, it makes no sense the argument being advanced by the teachers that one has to be a career teacher before they can be appointed as D-G of the Education Service.
“The logic that you’ve got to have had only teaching career before you can manage the Ghana Education Service is not only illogical but shameful,” he contended.
He claimed the role of a D-G goes beyond just teaching. He deemed the action by the teachers as disrespectful to the President.
The removal of Prof. Opoku-Amankwa had long been expected amidst allegation that there is a frosty relationship between him and the sector minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum.
The two, on a few occasions, have clashed publicly in the media with the last one being claims by the ousted D-G that government’s flagship Free Senior High School (FSHS) policy was going to be reviewed by government,something which was refuted by the Ministry months ago.
The letter from the President sacking him read in parts: “Accordingly, the President of the Republic has instructed that your secondment be terminated forthwith, and you are directed to return to your position at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.”