Prof. Naana Opoku Agyeman, Education Minister
The purported announcement of mass transfer of teachers has incurred the wrath of members of the Ghana National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT).
Minister of Education, Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, is reported to have said in Kumasi, Ashanti Region, on Monday that there would be mass transfer of teachers to rural areas since investigations had shown that there were more teachers than required in urban and peri-urban areas of the country.
NAGRAT is greatly incensed by the announcement and has issued a statement through its President, Christian Addai-Poku, saying “this story has sent a lot of shivers down the ranks of our membership, culminating in massive complaints from teachers country wide.”
The statement continued, “NAGRAT notes with interest the banner headline story attributed to the Minister of Education, Prof. Nana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, indicating massive transfer of teachers to deprived areas.”
The association assured its members that the leadership was in touch with the ministry and was working hard to ensure that “the interest of the teacher is protected in this process.”
“We want to further state that we acknowledge the right of the employer to decide where a teacher should work at any point in time, and will not do anything to unduly frustrate the effort of the employer in exercising that right.
“However, we want to draw attention to the fact that in exercising the right to transfer teachers, the employer is enjoined to follow due process and to pay the appropriate compensation to the affected teachers who will be unduly inconvenienced by such exercise.”
NAGRAT reminded the ministry that their collective agreement was clear on issues of transfers, and said the union was not hesitating in ensuring that the right thing was done.
“It is worth noting that over the past three years, the Ghana Education Service has defaulted in the payment of transfer grant to a good number of teachers who have accepted transfer to other areas. NAGRAT believes that to build confidence in the process, these people must be paid their transfer grant first before any further transfers are made.”
NAGRAT suggested what it called ‘Difficult Areas Allowance’ and other incentives which they said had been negotiated but were yet to be implemented, “be made to work.”
According to the association, “This will serve as a source of motivation for teachers to willingly opt to teach in deprived areas instead of being forced against their will.”
NAGRAT assured teachers and the public of their continued partnership with the government and other stakeholders to deliver quality education to Ghanaian children.
By William Yaw Owusu