The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has described the punishment meted out to 110 basic school headteachers in Accra as harsh and unfair.
The affected school heads reportedly charged students for printing fees, contrary to a directive from the Ghana Education Service (GES) directive.
GNAT says the directive came when, when the monies had already been collected for the printing of exam materials.
National President of the association, Philipa Larson, in an interview said the failure of GES to present the headteachers an opportunity to be heard on the development makes its punitive action, one that lacks substance.
“Getting to the end of last term, we, unfortunately, received a letter from the Ghana Education Service that, students or parents are not supposed to pay for the printing of examination. We don’t have a problem with the new directive but what we are saying is that, at the time the directive came, parents had already paid the monies and we had also paid our printers. So for somebody to say that the directive came before we collected the money is not true in the first place. ”
“Even if there is a directive and the headteachers have flouted the directive, they have to be taken through the right disciplinary procedures. They will have to be given a hearing. But for them to be reassigned without a fair hearing; we are against that”, she added.
The headteachers after the incident, have been asked to go back to the classroom to teach, a situation GNAT described as a demotion.
But the GES does not consider its actions towards the teachers a demotion.
The Public Relations Officer at GES, Cassandra Twum Ampofo, said the headteachers have just been reassigned to teaching duties while maintaining their ranks
She noted that the teachers admitted their faults and “came out to apologise.”
“We have just asked them to go back to the classroom. They are going to teach in the classroom just like their colleagues who are also of the same rank teaching in the classroom.”