The Ministry of Education (MoE) has described former President John Dramani Mahama, as the “the most teacher-unfriendly president.”
This was contained in a response to the former president following his allegation that the government is gagging teachers.
A statement signed by the director of communications of the ministry, Ekow Vincent Assafuah, said the former president’s allegations are devoid of facts, and must be rejected.
Mr Assafuah outlined some decisions which were taken by the previous Mahama administration which show he was teacher-unfriendly.
They include the cancellation of teacher trainee allowances, failure to employ a single graduate teacher throughout his tenure, and salary legacy arrears in respect of payments to teachers, in pursuant to the three-month pay policy.
Others are the non-payment of tier-two pension funds for teachers, three-year backlog of non-promotion of teachers, and the non-negotiation, for four years, for enhanced conditions of service for teachers.
Mr Assafuah, on the other hand, stated that the Akufo-Addo-led government, since taking office, has worked in the interest of teachers and the Ghana Education Service.
He mentioned policies such as the restoration of teacher trainee allowances; upgrading of diploma-awarding colleges of education to degree-awarding institutions; payment of GH₵70 to each teacher as motivation under the Free SHS policy; and clearing of legacy debts accrued by the Mahama government.
He also spoke about the government’s abolition of the three-month pay policy and prompt payment of teachers after recruitment, out-of-turn promotion for teachers who upgrade to masters level, among others.
Speaking at a meeting with the leadership of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) last week Wednesday, Mr Mahama accused the government of gagging teachers.
“We need to reform [the educational sector] in order to improve the outcomes that we get from the education service, but in doing those reforms, you must carry everyone with you.
“Right now, there’s a certain tyranny in the system. If, as a headteacher, you open your mouth and talk, you’ll be dismissed without going through due process. Everybody is quiet because everyone is afraid to talk. And so the government is just going ahead implementing and bulldozing its way through,” he accused the government.
He continued with his usual attack on the government’s Free SHS policy, claiming that the challenges associated with the Free SHS are as result of the government’s failure not to consult stakeholders on the matter.