Teachers’ strike disrupts end of term examinations in Ho

By Samuel Akumatey, GNA

Ho, Dec. 9, GNA – The nationwide strike
declared by teachers has disrupted end of term examinations in public basic and
pre-tertiary schools in the Volta Region.

Some affected schools visited by the Ghana
News Agency (GNA) in the Ho Municipality on Monday showed low student turnout,
with the few on campus making their way home.

Schools, which were beginning their end of
first term examinations this week, were most affected as teachers failed to
report, leaving examination supervision in the hands of a few National Service
Personnel (NSP).

At the Philip Akpo Memorial Roman Catholic
School in Ho, less than five trained teachers were seen on campus, with a
handful of National Service Personnel helping the Headmistress organise
examinations.

Almost all lower primary students had either
decided to stay at home or left school barely hours after reporting.

Mr Forgive Yao Agoha, Volta Regional Public
Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ghana Education Service (GES), following a
monitoring exercise in some schools in the region, told GNA that quite a number
of teachers were in school undertaking their duties.

He said heads of some basic and second cycle
institutions have made special arrangements to get National Service Personnel
to help conduct examinations, particularly for final year students.

The PRO commended such school heads,
including those of the Ho Kpodzi Basic Schools, saying they have exhibited
“quality management skills” without which the examinations would have been
jeopardized.

He said some heads are deliberating with
some teaching staff on the need to report and support the examination exercise
and that an Executive of the Ho Kpodzi Basic A Parent Teacher Association has
also joined the support team there.

The PRO said at the Mawuko Senior High
School, about 65 of the approximately 80 teachers were present and students
successfully sat for the mathematics papers.

He said 41 gold track teachers were also
present at Mawuli School when his team visited the school.

Mr Agoha said Public Relations Officers in
the various districts have been directed to engage heads of schools in their
localities on getting teachers and service personnel to support academic
activities.

“If we all sit down unconcerned, students
would suffer. If arrears are paid at the end of the day, who would be at the
losing end?” he quizzed.

He said some union heads have visited
schools and threatened teachers found on campus, forcing some schools in the
region to close down until further notice.

The PRO said it was not the duty of parents
to ask their wards to stay at home and management of the GES is doing its best
to ensure that teaching and learning progressed although the strike was in
force.

He said with recent threats of kidnappings,
parents must collaborate with school managements and the GES on issues
concerning the strike action.

“We should not create opportunities for
unscrupulous individuals to exploit our children and the situation. Parents
must seek the permission of school heads and management as well as the GES
before taking their children home,” he said.

A teacher at the Philip Akpo RC School told
GNA that although the strike was in the right direction, scheduling it for a
time when examinations are underway would affect not only students but
schedules of tutors and examiners.

“We have been in arrears for long and our
concerns must be heard. When you are hungry you cannot work. It is only bad we
are having this strike during the exams period”, he said.

Mr Anthony Amegadzi, also a teacher at the
Basic School, and a local GNAT Vice Chairman, accused government for not being
“proactive” towards their demands as it was with other professional bodies.

“If it should have been with the health
services, they would be called ‘essential services’. The Education Minister
must be active and step down if he knows he cannot do the job”, he said.

Mr Amegadzi said poor working conditions was
affecting the teaching job and the unions have resolved not to go back to the
classrooms until their grievances were addressed.

Most final year students of OLA Senior High
school were found in the School library preparing for their examinations, many
unsure of the time table. 

Three teacher unions- the Ghana National
Association of Teachers, (GNAT), National Association Of Graduate Teachers
(NAGRAT) and Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) last week declared a
nationwide strike action over what they described as legacy arrears spanning
2012 to 2016.

GNA

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