Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister for Education

Minister for Education Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh has stated that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government under President Nana Akufo-Addo has cleared 91% of what has become known as the ‘legacy arrears’ inherited from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government in 2017

The Minister made these revelations as part of a comprehensive statement he presented to Parliament yesterday on education and teacher reforms since the NPP took power on 7th January 2017.

Dr. Opoku Prempeh, also MP for Manhyia South, revealed that there was time when under the three-month pay policy, teachers were paid only three months’ salary, no matter how long they had worked since being engaged.

“This bare-faced injustice formed part of what became known as the legacy arrears that this government inherited.

“Today, all newly engaged teachers have had all their arrears paid a few months after commencing employment. Again, so far, this government has cleared over 91% of the legacy arrears we inherited. That is competence!”, he declared.

On teacher promotion, he stated, “Hitherto, the teacher promotion was a laborious, lengthy and expensive face-to-face interview process riddled with perceptions of corruption and victimization that was stuck in 20th century practices and procedures. We engaged the teacher unions and other stakeholders and eventually settled on an aptitude test for particular ranks of applicants.

“I am pleased, Mr. Speaker, to report to this house that the maiden aptitude test for promotion has been a resounding success and teachers appreciate the relatively simple process now in place. That, Mr. Speaker, is competence!”

On the issue of salary adjustments for newly promoted staff, the Minister revealed that contrary to the previous situation where it took months for promoted teachers to have their salary adjustments reflected, teachers who received their promotion letters in April 2020 saw the reflection of the adjustments in their May 2020 salaries.

Dr Opoku Prempeh also indicated that teachers’ conditions of service are being worked on in conjunction with the National Teaching Council and Fair Wages Commission and government.

He gave assurance that government will soon be able to resolve any outstanding challenges.

“Mr. Speaker, we will continue to engage with the teacher unions, student unions and other stakeholders on how to improve the image of the teaching profession, improve teacher education and training as well as improving learning outcomes.”

“Our vision of a 21st century teacher is a competent, skilled and professionally trained person equipped with the right set of skills and competencies to play a key role in delivering improved learning outcomes for learners to meet our development needs”, Dr. Opoku Prempeh declared.