The Coalition of Concern Teachers Ghana (CCT Ghana) is advocating for broader stakeholder consultations before any final determination is made for the reopening of basic level schools across the country.
National President of the Coalition, King Ali Awudu said though the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES) are yet to announce a date for the schools to resume, consultations must be completed before any decision is arrived at.
He noted that despite that the Presidential Covid-19 Response Committee says some regions in Ghana currently do not have active cases of the coronavirus, schools in those regions cannot resume whilst the others still with active cases remain close, arguing further they are all using the same curriculum.
The Minister for Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh recently inaugurated a 10-member committee to deliberate on the necessary modalities and make recommendations to advise the government for the reopening of schools in the country.
However, Mr. Ali Awudu said the committee is expected to submit its report to the Minister for Education by end of September, and when they submit their report he added that, “The minister will then engage the unions and we will also submit our proposals to the minister so technically I don’t foresee schools reopening in the next month or two ahead of us”.
The CCT National President made these remarks to Journalists in Tamale on Monday, 24 August, 2020, after the coalition held an executive meeting in the northern region.
The management team consisting of the National Executives, Regional Executives in the Northern, Upper West and Upper East regions and the district executives of the union participated in the meeting.
He explained the rationale of the meeting was for the management team to solicit the views and concerns of its members at the grassroot level before putting their proposal together.
The proposal, he added, will be submitted to the Ghana Education Service prior to the reopening of schools in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Some other fundamental issues the union discussed were the delay in payment of teachers and the legacy arrears.
“Currently, due to the issue of validation some teachers’ month-on and month-on cannot get their salaries, somebody can get the salary this month and next month would not get the salary because the person was not validated. We want to listen to them so that the challenges they face we can channel it to the appropriate quarters so that teachers can receive their salaries”
Again, Mr. Awudu indicated that the union members have issues of legacy arrears.
He explained that some teachers who were recruited between the periods of 2012/13 up to 2016 were not paid their full back pay as arrears but only received three months of the amount out of the number of months they were supposed to be paid their arrears.
That notwithstanding, he added some have been paid their outstanding amounts.