GES Makes U-Turn On Lesson Notes
…3 Years After Sacking ‘Teacher Kwadwo’
In what appears to be a sudden U-turn from its stance, the GES says it now accepts preparation of lesson notes in both handwritten and electronic forms.
A brief memo sighted by The Anchor, issued on January 17, 2024, said, “Management of the Ghana Education Service (GES) has become aware of some misunderstanding between heads and their teachers in some schools in respect of lesson notes preparations. Regional Directors are to bring to the attention of District/Municipal/Metropolitan Directors of Education to ensure that all heads of schools (Basic and Second Cycle) accept both handwritten and electronically prepared lesson notes in both printed and email forms.”
The directive was signed by the Deputy Director–General for the GES, Dr. Kwabena Bempah Tandoh, on behalf of the Director-General, Dr. Eric Nkansah.
This brings to an end, the misunderstanding that has existed between teachers and heads of schools over which is the accepted way to present lesson notes.
This is coming three years after Michael Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Teacher Kwadwo, was sacked from the service for criticizing the institution over its running of schools, chief being the presentation of lesson notes in writing.
The confusion was happening in some schools and it is expected that the eventual intervention will erase every doubt of it in the minds of educators, some of who are known to be computer illiterate and often challenged teachers who presented notes electronically.
The directive will ensure that all heads of schools both in basic and second cycle levels accept these forms of lesson notes.
Teacher Kwadwo’s criticism of the GES on social media was heightened in 2021, leading to his dismissal that same year. He had among others publicly condemned the demand by heads for handwritten notes, which he saw as outmoded.
Since the release of the statement, some have jumped to the defense of the dismissed teacher, saying the GES owes Teacher Kwadwo an apology. Some teachers see writing of notes with pen and paper as punishment.
A onetime teacher and now journalist with the Multimedia Group, Kwame Dadzie, who keenly followed the issue at the time, upon sighting the latest changes, said on Facebook “GES needs to apologize to Teacher Kwadwo for the humiliation he suffered for mooting to this idea.
An institution that finds writing of lesson notes with pen as punishment. Sad thing is, a lot of teachers didn’t support Teacher Kwadwo when he was embarking on this fight. The average teacher is a fearo. But I am glad things are changing now.”
Owusu Afriyie, who now describes himself as Comic Teacher with No Students and Classroom, taught at the Akrofrom District Assembly Primary School in the Ashanti Region, according to the GES, misconducted himself as a professional teacher, and was subject of disciplinary action long before his removal.
At the time of his dismissal, the authorities said Michael Owusu Afriyie absented himself from the classroom on 55 working days in that academic year alone.
His headteacher was also demoted to a classroom teacher for being “incompetent” and unable to stamp his authority and whip Kwadwo into line.
The School Improvement Support Officer (SISO), who was required to supervise his work was re-assigned from his then role to a classroom teacher in a different district.
In 2021, when all this unfolded, the GES constituted a committee to look into the said professional misconduct.
A report from the district was sent to the regional level and the regional communicated same to the national.
The GES at the national level in a letter dated October 27, 2021 came to the conclusion of termination. The news of his dismissal was received with mixed reaction. While some saw it as unfortunate and victimization, others argued Teacher Kwadwo brought it upon himself. His critics said he broke the ethics of the profession by relaying his concerns about the institution on social media when he could have used the laid down procedure.
Teacher Kwadwo was accused of refusing to prepare lesson plan as a professional teacher and ignored the directive to the District Director to prepare the lesson plan. He was also said to have further refused to submit Lesson Notes for vetting by his headteacher.
He was also said to have exhibited the “highest level of insubordination towards the District Director and the School Improvement Support Officer (SISO) responsible for his school, as well as the headteacher of his school, and that he, in some instances, refused to respond to queries served him by both the headteacher and the SISO.”
“He further even refused to respond to a query issued to him by the District Director and in addition refused to appear before a panel set up by the District Director to investigate his conduct.”
Meanwhile, The Anchor’s checks have revealed that till date, some teachers, especially those in the second cycle schools, do not prepare these notes at all as they deem it as difficult and sometimes unnecessary.
Teacher Kwadwo, a comedian and a professional teacher, announced on social media on Saturday [Dec 18, 2021] that he had been sacked by the GES.