The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has called on the Ministry of Education to follow due process and pay the appropriate compensation to teachers who will be transferred.
“We want to remind the authorities that our collective agreement is clear on this and the union will not hesitate to ensure that the right thing is done,” it said.
A statement signed by the President of NAGRAT, Mr Christian Addai-Poku, said the association had noted with interest the banner headline story in the February 18 edition of the Daily Graphic, attributed to the Minister of Education, Prof. Nana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, indicating massive transfer of teachers to deprived areas.
“This story has sent a lot of shivers down the spine of the ranks of our membership culminating in massive complaints from teachers countrywide. NAGRAT wishes to assure our members that the union is in touch with the Ministry of Education and will work hard to ensure that the interest of the teacher is protected in this process.
“We want to further state that we acknowledge the right of the employer to decide where a teacher should work at any point in time and will not do anything to unduly frustrate the effort of the employer in exercising that right,” it said.
It said it was worth noting that over the past three years, the Ghana Education Service (GES) had defaulted in the payment of transfer grant to a good number of teachers who had accepted transfer to places.
NAGRAT, the statement said, believed that to build confidence in the process, those people must be paid their transfer grants first before any further transfers were made.
“Additionally, NAGRAT wishes to suggest that Difficult Areas Allowance and other incentives which have been negotiated but are yet to be implemented must be made to work. This will serve as a source of motivation for teachers to willingly opt to teach in deprived areas instead of being forced against their will,” it said.
It reassured all teachers and the general public that NAGRAT would continue to partner the government and other stakeholders to deliver quality education to Ghanaian children.
In the report, the Minister of Education, Prof. Naana Opoku-Agyemang, was quoted as saying that one major problem militating against the provision of quality education in the country was the lack of teachers, a problem occasioned partly by the inequitable distribution of teachers.
She explained that a recent research by the ministry indicated that there were more teachers than required in the urban and peri-urban centres, while less-privileged districts and rural schools had inadequate number of teachers.
Prof. Opoku-Agyemang was opening a day’s discussion with district chief executives (DCEs) from the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Upper West, Upper East and Northern regions on how to improve management, supervision, monitoring and accountability of schools in those areas.