Holy Child College Council defends appointment of Victory Ghanney as New Principal

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ACADEMIC COLLEGE

The Governing Council of Holy Child College of Education in Takoradi has insisted that it did not err in appointing one Victory Ghanney as the new Principal of the College.

Contrary to claims by some staff of the College, the Council maintained that Mrs. Ghanney has the requisite educational credentials to enable her head the College.

Weeks ago, some academic staff of the College, in a press conference, claimed that Mrs. Ghanney is not qualified to head the institute and went ahead to secure an injunction against an official ceremony to hand over the College to her.

 

In a press statement, the Acting Chairman of the Governing Council of the College, Francis Kwabena Boachie, stated that even though Mrs. Ghanney qualifies, the Council has reversed the decision to appoint her due to the psychological trauma brought on her following subsequent events after her name was mentioned.

Below is the statement:

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE GOVERNING COUNCIL OF HOLY CHILD COLLEGE OF EDUCATION IN RESPONSE TO THE PRESS CONFERENCE HELD BY A SECTION OF THE ACADEMIC STAFF OF THE COLLEGE ON 11TH MARCH 2021

APOLOGY TO MRS VICTORIA GHANNEY

The Governing Council of the Holy Child College of Education in Takoradi, Ghana, would like to unreservedly and publicly apologise to MRS. VICTORIA GHANNEY for maligning statements made by a section of the Academic Staff of the College during the press conference held on the 11th March, 2021.

The Academic Staff also sought a court injunction to restrain the Council from handing over the College to Mrs. Ghanney as Principal and holding herself as such.

This injunction application was also carried out in the media. The Academic Staff themselves have since applied to DISCONTINUE the injunction from court and the withdrawal was upheld by the Sekondi High Court on the 26th April 2021.

SUMMARY OF SALIENT ISSUES OF PRESS CONFERENCE, PETITIONS AND COURT ACTION THAT DEMAND REBUTTAL

A section of the Academic Staff raised issues in the press conference which issues were captured in Ghana Web, Opera News, radio discussions, as well as in petitions and a court injunction which sought the following:

  1. That, Mrs Victoria Ghanney
    • does not possess relevant qualifications – research postgraduate degree preferably PhD
    • has just one year on-line MSc degree which does not even allow her to teach as a College Tutor
    • lectureship’s position has arisen out of long service but not on academic qualification
    • does not possess the managerial competencies and skills as stipulated in College of Education Act 2012, Act 847
    • has not held a relevant management position for, at least, five years with proven management skills.
    • was third in the interview conducted for the applicants to the position.
  2. On Mr. Kojo Amuah Prah, that
    • he was first in the interview conducted to select a principal for the College.
    • it was heard his age disqualified him.
    • he has been serving for a long time in the College.
    • he knows the ins and outs of the College.
  3. On Dr. Hull Adams
    • He has served a long time in the College and has a PhD.
    On account of the above,
    • Petitions were sent to the Governing Council copied to Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference, Ghana Tertiary Education Council, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Director General, Minister of Education, and other stakeholders to revoke the appointment of the Principal with immediate effect.
    • A call was made for an audit of the credentials and veracity of Mrs. Ghanney’s qualifications.

• Academic staff was not going to hesitate to withdraw services should the Council fail to act on their demand.

FOR THE RECORD AND CORRECTION

Mrs. Victoria Ghanney’s education and professional experience are as follows:
• MSc at Herriot-Watt University, Scottish Boarders Campus. She was resident in this University for her post-graduate studies and NOT ON-LINE as the press conference leaders sought to mislead the public and, thereby, malign her.

• Further evaluation of her academic background satisfied conditions that the Governing Council of the Holy Child College of Education, vested with powers to set terms for appointment of a principal for the College, put in place (Harmonised Statutes for Colleges of Education, Statute 11:1) for the exercise of appointment of a Principal.

• She is by rank in the university system a Senior Lecturer. That rank is attained by academic excellence by quality research and publications in reputable journals assessed by external expert assessors, a minimum defined number of years to prove scholarship in lecturing, research, workshops and conferences, innovativeness, managerial responsibility

experience/acumen and service to the university, nation and world at large. She had been with the University of Education, Winneba since 1999 and attained that position by dint of hard work. SHE HAD NOT BEEN AWARDED THE RANK OF SENIOR LECTURESHIP BY LONG SERVICE as the press conference holders, in stark ignorance, sought to deceive the public and the journalists that covered the aforementioned press conference.

Any journalist or member of the public can check up on these from the universities.
It was on the basis of a Search Committee Report on her qualifications, interview, background checks, the Council Chairman’s recommendation and Council deliberation that at its meeting on the 22nd November 2020, the Governing Council approved and offered Mrs. Victoria Ghanney an appointment as the Principal of the College effective from the day of assumption of duty. The procedures for appointment had been provided for by the Colleges of Education Act 2012, Act 847 (Clause 6 (1-3, 7), Harmonised Statutes for Colleges of Education: Statute 5:1, 11:1 and Harmonised Scheme of Service for Staff of Colleges of Education – College Principal pg. 3-6.

Mrs. Victoria Ghanney actually reported to assume duty on the 1st. March, 2021 after a familiarisation tour of the College on the 18th January, 2021. At the familiarisation tour, the Ag. Principal Mr. Kojo Amuah Prah and Ag. Vice Principal Dr. Hull Adams were part of the team that conducted her around the College.

EXPOSITION OF EVENTS
Despite the long wait for response for advertisement for the post of Principal, there were only six applicants. That was very worrying to the Council that there were such few applicants and that influenced some considerations in the process to interview all applicants – even those that did not qualify. Since the agitations of the Academic Staff of the College captured the names of three applicants in its arguments, the Council will explain as follows:MR. KOJO AMUAH PRAH
After collation of interview results and background checks it was found that Mr. Kojo Amuah Prah ranked first in just the interview. His age of 57 years would not qualify him to run at least, one full term of four years as a principal of the College as a tertiary institution. He also had the rank of a TUTOR. He was supposed to have had a minimum rank of PRINCIPAL TUTOR. That Mr. Kojo Amuah Prah, then Acting Principal, applied for the position for a substantive principal when he knew himself that he did not qualify by age and rank to apply. His application became a dilemma to the Search Committee since he was the Acting Principal but did not qualify to be interviewed. Mr. Kojo Amuah himself, knows the efforts the Council took to verify his credentials.

DR. FRANCIS HULL ADAMS
Dr. Francis Hull Adams had the rank of PRINCIPAL TUTOR. Age was on his side to serve, at least, one full term as a principal. He performed creditably and ranked second based on the interview alone.

MRS. VICTORIA GHANNEY
Mrs. Victoria Ghanney had the academic qualification. By virtue of her rank as Senior Lecturer in a reputable university like University of Education, Winneba, she was more than holding an MPhil. She ranked third just in the interview. Age was on her side to complete a tenure of four years as Principal.

BACKGROUND CHECKS
It is for a very important reason that curriculum vitae have to capture reputable people as referees to applicants. Referees give the real character and attitudes of applicants, which cannot be deduced from certificates. Even then, referees usually only give the strengths of individuals and not their weakness.

For a female faith-based (Catholic) institution, a meticulous background checks were necessary. Background checks covered morality, propensity for sexual harassment, family life, , analytical, application and innovation talents, role-model stature, positive feedback from present and past students, positive interaction with superiors, peers and subordinates, proneness to bowing to unreasonable populist staff and students’ demands, proven ability to bring positive transformation and ability to lead the migration of a Teacher Training College to a tertiary institution.

Morality, propensity for sexual harassment and family life were given additional weight, especially as Holy Child College of Education is a female faith-based (Catholic) institution.
Background checks were, therefore, obtained from the Holy Child College of Education and that of the University of Education, Winneba.

It was during this background checks from both staff (some of whom were part of the protestors) and students (identities withheld because of assurances of anonymity) in the Holy Child College of Education that several Moral Issues came up and informed the next ranking and choice of the Principal.

The results of background checks carried a lot of weight and overshadowed the display of eloquence at interviews. That tells the story of why the interview alone was not the criterion for appointment and why background check was highly classified. Background checks and analysis were what was not available to those who thought they have illegally intercepted all documents on the process of choosing a Principal. They intercepted only interview results and not background assessments.

INTERFERENCE IN APPOINTMENT PROCESS
Immediately it was publicly announced that Mrs. Vitoria Ghanney had been selected as principal, some interferences reared their ugly heads with intensity to boot her off.
The Council became aware of some pressure exerted from Sekondi-Takoradi and Accra against Mrs. Ghanney’s, appointment, the details of which are withheld for reason of prudence than confidentiality.

On the night of 23rd March 2021, similar pressures were brought on the Acting Chairman to help Mr. Prah in whatever way possible. Also, while Council meeting was ongoing on the 24th March, 2021, there were texts from similar sources urging a vote to let Mr. Prah continue as Acting Principal. These interferences, the Council deemed were very unfortunate and were not entertained.

COUNCIL EFFORTS TO RESOLVING ISSUES AND EXPLANATION OF THE PROCEDURES FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF PRINCIPAL TO ACADEMIC STAFF

  1. The Chairman and the Council made attempts to explain the procedures leading to the appointment of the Principal and especially the import of background checks to the section of the protesting Academic staff on three occasions all to no avail. The details of these attempts could be obtained from the council if one wants to know about them.
  2. Subsequently, the section of the Academic staff filed an application in the Sekondi High Court to be moved on the 13th April, 2021 restraining a handing over to the new principal and Mrs Victoria Ghanney holding herself as Principal. The Council and its lawyer appeared for the hearing but the Academic Staff and their lawyer did not turn up. On the 22nd April, 2021, this same section of the Academic staff who had initiated all this uncalled for agitations wrote to the Sekondi High court to discontinue actions against the Council and Mrs. Ghanney. This was granted on the 26th April, 2021.
    The question on the minds of many is why did the section of the Academic Staff engage in an unnecessary quest to discredit the Governing Council and Mrs. Victoria Ghanney only to backtrack in court; and under whose promptings and backing these actions were taken?
    CONCLUSION
    The Council restates its position that MRS. VICTORIA GHANNEY was selected to be Principal by due process available to it, although the Ghana Tertiary Education Council intimates it was not fully involved during the processes and stages of the appointment process for which reason it could not support the council’s appointment – not that Mrs. Victoria Ghanney was not qualified for the post.
    Since these agitations created a toxic as well as a hostile environment for the new Principal to work effectively as Head of the College, the effect of emotional disturbance caused to her as well as the Council not getting the support of GTEC for her appointment, the Council met and reversed its earlier decision of appointing Mrs Ghanney as the Principal and all major stakeholders have been informed accordingly. For any further enquiry concerning this press statement, please write officially to the Council and those details could be shared if necessary.

Francis Kwabena Boachie
(Ag. Chairman)

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