A former President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Kwame Alorvi has alleged that there might be an overarching, domineering and uncompromising political giant at the Ministry of Education (MoE) or the Ghana Education Service (GES).
He further stated, the supposed political giant’s posture might be scaring the other members at the MoE and GES stick out their neck to suggest alternative views to what the giant holds.
This allegation, he said was inline with the current happenings at the Education Service which supposedly might be linked to a decision making defect.
Kwame Alorvi made this statement in a write-up after the GES directed all headteachers to print exam papers on credit for the conduct of their third term exams.
The Chronology of the Problems
Defending his statement,the former NAGRAT boss made references to activities that portrayed the MoE and GES posture during the genesis of the problems with writing exams on the board.
”In April 2019, Social media was flooded with disturbing images of basic school teachers dangerously climbing ladders, tables, chairs and benches to write their 2nd term examination questions on chalkboards for their pupils to answer, instead of printed questions.” He said.
”The reason being that the Ghana Education Service (GES) had banned the collection of PTA levies that headteachers used to make use of to print examination questions at the basic level of education, without putting in place any alternative source of funds to print the questions.” He said.
”In the midst of nationwide outcry that greeted these images on social media, contradictory statements and documents from our Education Managers flew right, left and center across the public space in response to the teachers’ actions” He lamented.
”The media reported the Chairman of the Ghana Education Service Council Mr. Michael Nsowah as saying GES had not banned collection of examination fees at the basic level. He was quoted to have said the GES rather directed the Headteachers to meet their PTAs to discuss the amount needed to conduct the examinations, stressing that PTAs were responsible for the cost of these examinations. He accused the teachers of plotting to tarnish the image of government. Mr. Nsowah however, failed to provide documentary evidence of the said directive” He said.
”Within the same period, the District Director of Bosomtwe in Ashanti Region, reminded the headteachers in a letter, that the ban by the GES on collection of exam levies was still in force. The Director warned that Heads that violated the ban would be sanctioned. This cast doubt on Mr. Nsowah’s claim that GES did not ban collection of the said fees” He indicated.
”Then came a letter from the Akwapim South District Assembly to headteachers approving collection of exam fees in schools under its jurisdiction.”
”Finally, the Hon Minister of Education, from reports in the media, added to the confusion by telling the teachers ” stop the drama; writing questions on the board is not new” He said.
Ethnically Homogeneous Team
Kwame Alorvi also aid that the current team at the Moe and the GES has been ethnically homogenous.
A situation he believes was among the reasons affecting decision making in the Ghana Education Service.
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”There might be so much group solidarity at play within the ethnically homogeneous team that they might be unwilling to wreck the boat with divergent views no matter how useful they might be” He said.
According to him,he has known Ashantis during his school days has also worked with many during his career.
He described them as not only industrious but are equally knowledgeable and intelligent.
”I have also encountered Dr Yaw Adutwum, Deputy Minister of Education, at seminars and workshops and I was amazed at his in depth knowledge about the direction education should take in this country.” He said.
” That’s why I am ”mad” at seeing these admirably intelligent people managing our education, yet we still encounter this turmoil in the education sector at all levels.” He lamented.
”The Minister of Education,Deputy Minister of Education ,Chairman of the GES Council, Director General of the GES.Deputy Director General of the GES, and the Executive Secretary of the National Teaching Council are all from the same ethnic group” He said.
Putting up his suggestions to help solve the problems in the GES,MoE in relation to his allegations, he said His Excellency the President should ethnically diversify the Management team in the education sector.