EducationGhana, November 11, EDUTEF: Educate Teachers Forum (EDUTEF) has chastised the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) for criticising the National Teaching Council (NTC) for its decision to collaborate with Service providers to organize fee-paying Professional development workshops for teachers.
EDUTEF described the posture of GNAT don’t he NTC CPD Workshops as being sycophantic and Hypocritical.
Read the full statement below:
GNAT IS BEING SYCOPHANTIC AND HYPOCRITICAL WITH THE NTC CPD PROGRAMME
Unionism is all about representation and representation is about speaking the view of members to ensure that equity and better conditions of services are established.
Seeking to communicate the views of your members as reps is not about seeking to discredit the mandate of a body whilst you know that what that body is mandated to do will not in any way be injurious to your members.
When unionism becomes a tool to always fight policies and ideas driven by self-seeking interest, then the purpose of representation is defeated.
A letter emanating from the office of the general secretary of GNAT, Thomas Musah, has tried to whitewash NTC and their regulatory mandate and we strongly take exception to what the GNAT secretary is trying to make the public believe.
In the first three paragraphs of his letter, Musah tried to question why some district directors are forcing teachers to attend the CPD programme.
He made references to Ketu South and Atwiman Nwabiagya North District respectively indicating that GNAT is not against the CPD programme but rather oppose to any attempt to entrust the CPD into the hands of NTC instead of leaving it for GES because the onus is on the employer (GES) to organize such programmes per the collective bargaining agreement.
Based on these observations, the GNAT secretary started building his reasoning to suggest that the CPD programme is not the mandate of NTC and chastised them for trying to force teachers to partake in the workshop meant for point building for licensing renewal.
Teachers need to understand that the GNAT secretary is playing mischief and we want to expose him for his sycophantic and hypocritical behaviour.
First, if GNAT had updated their constitution in 2018 to Article 3(1)(a) to promote high academic standards and professional experience of their members how does that concern the mandate of NTC?
Secondly, GNAT is claiming that any educational programmes should be designed, developed and revised through experiment and research, to promote the full development of the child and the nation.
How does this one also concern NTC? This is boggling and the mischief is clear for all to see how GNAT is pushing an agenda by hiding behind a misinterpretation of laws.
Again, GNAT is suggesting that NTC per the Education Regulatory Body Act 2020 section 60(a), is only set up to advise the Ministry of Education relating to the Professional Standing, licensing of teachers and not engaging accredited service providers to organize CPD for Teachers.
GNAT further stated that the role of the GES as lead Agency for the implementation of approved policies and programmes in the Pre-tertiary level is being subsumed by the NTC.
We find this to be strange and highly mischievous borne out of malice and calculated attempt to discredit the mandate of NTC with supposed perception and personal interpretation of the Education Regulatory Body Act 2020 section 60 (a).
In any case, if NTC is supposed to advise the Ministry of Education on professional standing and licensing, what stops the Ministry from asking the council to play that role to achieve that same purpose.
Again, NTC from all indications in the Act that established it has the mandate to ensure the professional standing and licensure of teachers. Why would GNAT pick section 60 (a) only leave the rest and make it look like NTC is a non-entity?
What makes a council a council? GES is an agency and not a council and is Musah suggesting that GES must be given the mandate to play the role of licensing of teachers instead of NTC or what?
In all professional practices in the country including lawyers, nurses and doctors, it is not their agency that ensures their professional standing but their regulatory council. GNAT is being exposed with this kind of wayfaring argument without purpose and substance.
Let us make it clear that from the beginning when the licensing issues became popular and it became known that NTC will be involved in providing the same, the teacher unions led by GNAT were deep-seated in the documents that were meant to regulate the licensing and provision of the CPD.
GNAT is fully represented on every board and committee that has been established by NTC to ensure the provision of CPD and the professional standing of teachers.
The drawing of the CPD and the point building system were done under the auspices of the teacher unions including GNAT who were and are always present as “power holders in decision making”.
The point building system is part of the NTC mandate to regulate the teaching profession. The CPD, therefore, is a tool NTC is using to ensure that as part of its regulatory authority every teacher is supposed to pass certain professional training modules to meet the requirement of licensing and obtaining licensing in the country.
It is, therefore, inconsistent for Musah to suggest that a council that is meant to regulate the teaching body does not possess that power to organize training that will culminate into points accumulation as part of renewing of license.
How on earth will someone opines that an agency that is running the errands for the Ministry of Education should rather possess the power to regulate teachers at the expense of a Teaching Council?
This is highly inconsistent and incongruous with conventions and practices and even in the face of the law, the Ministry of Education has the power to authorize NTC to act accordingly. GNAT should come out with otherwise proof that NTC does not have the support of the Ministry of Education.
Again, the Ministry of Education mandated the NTC to organize the Ghana Teacher Prize following all the required steps and GNAT is rightly aware of this development. Why won’t GNAT ask GES also to organize the Teacher Prize since they are the lead agency?
It becomes very sycophantic and hypocritical for GNAT to be involved in all policies that were and are meant to regulate the teaching profession and all of the sudden turn around to suggest otherwise with such inconsistencies.
For Musah to turn around to discredit NTC and its mandate it is clear that some dirty politics is crawling under the carpet and Musah is either abusing his office or overstepping his jurisdiction in the name of power.
The level of inconsistencies that have been displayed by Musah in his letter is a testimony that GNAT is only an expert in opposing policies and ideas and the most shocking aspect of it is that they had been involved in them from day one.
So when NTC gave GNAT, NAGRAT, CCT and ATAG the certificate to become service providers, GNAT didn’t see that to be wrong? When NTC negotiated with the government for an amount for the CPD, where was GNAT? Didn’t GNAT see that to be wrong? When NTC engaged the various stakeholders on how the professional allowance will be paid, where was GNAT?
GES in implementing its core mandate of providing better and quality education for children in Ghana already has too much on their hands let alone entrusting them with the additional responsibilities of licensing and providing the CPD programme.
If in the collective bargaining agreement, GES is mandated to provide training for teachers, NTC has not disputed that. If GES organized training and teachers attend, teachers can use the same to score points for their renewal of licensing.
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The CPD allowance was negotiated to allow teachers to attend more training since GES cannot organize frequent training for teachers.
What GNAT is trying to suggest is that, after waking up from their long slumber, the government should give the CPD allowance to GES or GES should take money directly from teachers from the CPD allowance like the way they did forcibly for the laptops, to organize the CPD training programmes instead of NTC accrediting service providers.
The threats that accompanied Musah’s letter is a mere show of power borne out of mischieve, sycophancy and hypocrisy and must not be taken seriously. There are other pressing issues that need the attention of Musah than the CPD program.
This even exposes GNAT’s intentions of trying to hijack the CPD programme that is successfully being organized by NTC. GNAT wants to organize this CPD all by themselves and they are trying to hide behind false and malicious interpretation of Education Regulatory Body Act 60(a) to threaten NTC to enable GES to take over for them to have the lion share.
What Musah is doing is highly unfair and does not reflect the core mandate of a union seeking the true welfare of its members. It is a highly self-seeking and calculated attempt to play unkempt politics with something that has taken a long time to develop and come by.
GNAT is blowing its horns too much and it is about time someone calls them to order and tell them to their face that they are abusing their certificate as the bargaining power holder union and trying to play the ostrich by seeking certain hidden interests instead of the interest of ordinary teachers who are their members.
Educate Teachers Forum (EDUTEF)
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