Teacher unions have made their intentions clear to resist any attempt by government to privatise, commercialise and commodify public education in the country.
Four teacher unions, Teachers & Educational Workers Union of Ghana (TEWU), the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT – GH), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), and the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) say, they will kick against a new government policy that seeks to privatize the management of some basic schools in the country on a pilot basis.
The new program by government, known as the Ghana Partnership Schools (GPS) Project is set to commence in September 2019 is aimed at relinquishing the running of over 100 public basic schools under private management.
But addressing a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, February 26, a spokesperson for the teacher unions, David Ofori Acheampong, who doubles as the General Secretary of the (GNAT), expressed shock over government’s effort in trumpeting the implementation of the project, ignoring the Unions in the two – year planning process of the project.
He described the action of government as “unfortunate and unacceptable” and emphasised that, “We are going to marshal all our forces to resist its implementation”.
He has however, urged government to supply adequate resources and release the Capitation Grant on time for the effective management of schools. “As we speak today, the Capitation Grants for 2018/19 academic year has not been released to the schools but we are in the second term of the current academic year…We therefore call on government to release the subventions due the District Directorates of Education on time to enable them undertake supervision as required and expected of them and see whether the anticipated teaching and learning outcomes would not be attained” – David Ofori Acheampong, stated.
A pilot of the GPS Project is set to operate in the Ashanti, Northern, Central and the Greater Accra regions, covering kindergartens, primary and junior high schools (JHS) and an enrolment of at least 300 students.
The Project’s funding will be sourced from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) as loans and grants, respectively.
The IDA which is part of the World Bank’s affiliates, helps the world’s poorest countries , while the GPE is a multi – stakeholder partnership and funding platform that supports developing countries to ensure that every child receives quality basic education.
President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Eric Angel Carbonu, President of the Coalition of Concerned Teachers – Ghana (CCT – GH), King Ali Awudu, and the National Chairman of the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU), Peter K. Lumor, were present at the press conference.