The education minister, in his submission at a Press briefing, tackled some relevant areas which included the issue of pre-tertiary education, tertiary education, and reopening of institutions.
According to the minister, since 2017 on the assumption of office, the government has done a lot in the area of pre-tertiary education within the boundary of Ghana Education service, by recruiting teaching and non-teaching staff.
“As much as 93,724 human beings, teachers and non-teachers have been recruited by this government in the area of employment for Ghana Education Service, we have the breakdown; in 2017 a total of over 32,000, in 2018 nearly 9,000, 2019 nearly 22,000 and this year we will recruit about 27,000 total of 93, 724, that has been hired and will be hired by the end of this year”.
According to the minister, the previous administration came up with a three months’ pay policy which had some disparity in terms of disbursement. This policy has been scrapped by the current government and replaced with a new one which is working well. He explained, “All teachers recruited last year have been put on a payroll, and for those who have served for more than three months, and for some who had served six months all their salaries and arrears have been paid by His Excellency the President’s government”.
In addressing the press he cited GES and other unions’ had reached a consensus this year on the introduction of new promotional exams which is intended to facilitate and assess the promotions of teachers. He stated that,
“We wanted to facilitate and do away with the tendency where somebody gets promoted and three years he has not been put on his scale, all apart from the few that is left for June, all teachers who are promoted and have been released and promotion letters have been sent, have been put on the new scale and have been paid their allowances”.
The minister also asserted the governments’ resolute aim of improving its payment system, by ensuring consistency in payment plans and settling arrears to avert confrontation with teachers by introducing an allowance scheme. “Government, because of the continuous professional development, the licensing exams for new teachers has instituted a new allowance for teachers and non-teachers called the Teacher Professional Allowance, which will give each teacher a GHC1, 200 and for non-teaching staff GHC600 for continuous professional development. Also, the government has approved critical support to TEWU members who have been left out for the last eight years”.
He further spoke on the pre-tertiary education bill highlighting,
“The government has listened to the unions and have deleted from the pre-tertiary education bill the unions’ most vociferous concern to do with decentralization. So the bill will go ahead with some union reforms… but those part that deals with decentralization has been dropped from the bill”.
For all academic staff who are willing to serve in the universities, the government has approved a grant to cater to it. In a similar light, they have given over 6, 178 staff financial clearance to expedite recruitment and has proposed a recall and contract packages to post retired lecturers with a professorial grade up to the age of 70 and non-professorial up to the age of 65.
Also, after much lecturer’s agitation and educational debate, the government has restored the booker research allowance and increased it by 200% from GHC 500 to GHC 1,500 and placed in parliament “a research fund bill to bring in more investments and funds to support research in this country”.
Speaking on the public university bill he explained that the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Clifford Nii Boye Tagoe, chaired the committee that launched on campus the first Ghana Tertiary Education Policy on June 14, 2019, and that the policy has fashioned out the Public University Bill.
“Government will like to acknowledge the role of UTAG in making the bill a better bill than had been originally envisaged, we will continue to work with UTAG and other interested stakeholders to make the bill better for this country”.