Embattled Non-Formal Education Director Resigns
…But Lobbying For Contract Extension, As Education Minister Goes Silent
The embattled executive director of Complementary Education Agency (CEA), formerly called Non-Formal Education Division (NFED), Mr. Francis Asumadu, whose continuous stay in office is fueling tension among staff of the agency, amid series of petitions against his stewardship, has resigned.
But his resignation letter is allegedly being kept secret by the Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, with desperate lobbying underway to offer him a one-year contract extension, even though he was due for retirement since July 3, 2022.
Mr. Asumadu is said to have tendered in the resignation letter on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 in the absence of the education minister, who was reportedly out of the country recently on an official assignment.
According to The Anchor’s information, the letter, which was sealed in an envelope, was allegedly received by Daniel Dwete-Agyare, Esq., the minister’s special assistant, on his behalf.
Though the reasons for his resignation are yet to be established, sources say Mr. Asumadu, who is due for retirement, pulled out because of the numerous petitions on his head by the staff, accusing him of sexual harassment, mismanagement, victimization and extortion, among others.
But this paper is informed that, despite tendering his resignation letter, the executive director is still at post, refusing to go home and rest.
The Anchor has gathered that, despite the mess under his tenure, Mr. Asumadu does not appear ready to vacate his position anytime soon, and, therefore, lobbying through some influential individuals to prevail on the education minister and the appointing authorities to keep him at post.
Insiders told this paper those leading the lobby include the Board of CEA, some four regional coordinators of the agency, namely Mr. Stephen Gyamfi, Ashanti Regional coordinator; Mr. Ameyaw Nicolas, Brong Ahafo Regional coordinator; Mr. Fredrick Justice Abban, Central Regional coordinator, and Mr. Richard Dada Addo, the Volta Regional coordinator.
Interestingly, these regional directors are all occupying their positions in an acting capacity. Many believe their action was merely for their personal interests, so they could be confirmed as substantive regional coordinators in the event that their boss remains at post.
But in a sharp response yesterday when contacted, Mr. Asumadu said he is still at post and has not resigned, as he questioned the paper’s source of the information.
He told this reporter, “As we are speaking, I am in the office. So, I don’t know where your information is coming from? What is your source of what you are asking that I’ve resigned?”
But when the reporter indicated to him that he cannot confirm the source of his information, Mr. Asumadu then retorted, “I’m sorry, I can’t also confirm to you” that he has resigned.
Interestingly, when The Anchor contacted the special assistant to the minister, who supposedly received the resignation letter, Lawyer Daniel Dwete-Agyare, he said he has not seen it.
When pushed further, he insisted “I’ve not seen it. Your source has told you otherwise, [but] I’ve not seen it.”
The CEA boss is battling allegations of sexual harassment, victimization and extortion against him in a petition currently lying on the desk of the education minister, a development which is brewing tension among staff of the agency.
The workers are also on the heels of their executive director over the whereabouts of some GH₵10,000 welfare cash he took in 2020, purposely to grease the palms of some officers at the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC).
The angry workers, through the leadership of their welfare association, in a letter, dated, July 19, 2022, said that the money, as well as some other GH₵ 15,000, was handed to their boss, Mr. Francis Asumadu, to facilitate the migration of staff, something, which, in itself, has become the subject of controversy, leading to an investigation.
According to them, Mr. Asumadu impressed upon the Welfare Association to use the money “to motivate some officials of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission in order to facilitate the migration onto the Civil Service Structure.”
The peeved workers, who are at their wits’ end, said Mr. Asumadu seemingly did not refund the money to the welfare association.
They said that, various attempts to get him to refund the money have also yielded no result three years on.
This, coupled with other matters, is forcing the angry staff of the Complementary Education Agency, planning to organize a press conference, ostensibly to protest against the continued stay in office by Mr. Asumadu.
A caution letter, issued in July 2022, titled “Request For Refund Of Welfare Fund,” said, even though the chairman called Mr. Asumadu to express his disappointment about the non-payment of the money, his promise to do the needful the following day did not materialize.
A two-week ultimatum contained in the letter was also blatantly ignored by the embattled CEA director.
It said, “By a copy of this letter, you are to refund the said money which is Ten Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH₵10, 000, 00) to the Association within two weeks of receipt of this letter. We are putting the account of the Association together and we need to account for that money.”
The workers recalled that before releasing the second tranche, the national chairman of the association, Edward Ocloo, stressed to Mr. Asumadu their inability to release the money, using the lack of value for money argument.
The request for the money, per this paper’s understanding, coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, and so Mr. Ocloo drew the attention of the executive director to the inconveniences as a result of the disease and his inability to travel with him.
It noted, “On the 13th of November, 2019, you had meeting with the National Executives demanding the second installment. But the chairman told you the executives are unable to release the second installment because we were not having value for money and you took offence.”
The workers further said, “Again, on the 11th of May, 2020 when COVID-19 was on ascendency, you invited the chairman and demanded the remaining GH₵10, 000.00.”
They pointed out that, “Knowing what he was planning to do with the money he suggested that the secretary goes with him in place of him, the chairman, to do the presentation at the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission since he resides in Accra.
“Interestingly, after handing the money to the secretary and subsequently presenting it to Mr. Asumadu, he failed to fulfill his part of the bargain. The executives obliged and gave the money to the secretary as you suggested, they stated, adding “Instead of going with the secretary, you took the money from the secretary with the excuse of being busy with office work and postponed the presentation of the money to the following day.”
According to the workers, “His promise to pay the money even without the secretary was never fulfilled, neither was the money refunded back to the Association. All efforts to get the CEA boss to refund the money have fallen on deaf ears.”
They told their director, “The chairman called you and registered his displeasure but you promised him that it was going to be done the following day.
“That following day never came. Since then, the chairman has been requesting for the refund of the money but you paid deaf ears to the appeal,” the workers stated.