Some 91 aggrieved basic school head teachers of the Ghana Education Service (GES) in the Greater Accra Region, have dragged the Service to court for unjustifiably transferring and demoting them into the classroom.
The teachers, are being punished for charging pupils fees for printing of examination papers.
The head teachers, stationed at Ga West and North Municipalities, through their lawyers, Archbridge solicitors, say they have been ‘unfairly’ and ‘unreasonably’ treated by the GES.
In a writ sighted by The Herald, the applicants are praying an Accra based High Court for some six declarations, including an order to the GES, to reinstate the affected teachers to their respective schools or be re-designated.
The writ is praying the court, not to vary the condition of service of the affected teachers to their “disadvantage”.
One of the affected head teachers, who spoke to this paper on condition of anonymity, said a great disservice has been done to them, adding they are in court because they want clarification from the GES and also are asking authorities to reverse the punishment meted out to them by sending them back to their respective places of work.
Shedding light on the issue, the aggrieved teachers, said around July this year, the applicants as usual for examination purposes, as part of preparation towards the end of term examination charged pupils from basic and Junior High levels, printing fees for the examination.
Children from the basic level were charged GH¢10, while their seniors in the Junior High, were charged GH¢12.
According to him, after they collected the said moneys for the printing, there was a directive from the Deputy Director General of the GES, directing that no pupil be made to pay for printing
The new directive was that government was going to pay for printing for all schools across the country. Though the said money came, the GH2.5p was woefully inadequate, yet they refunded.
He said as a result of the directive, they were made to pay the amount collected back to individual parents of the pupils which they did.
However, he said while a chunk of them had their moneys refunded to them, other parents didn’t come for the money. The head teacher noted that, the directive to them was to ensure that the moneys were refunded back to parents and not pupils.
But in the course of paying the moneys to parents directly, as some parents failed to come personally for the money and signed an instruction came that they be punished.
This was after a template provided them to ensure the payment of the fees to the parents, were paid and signatures collected from the parents were submitted to office of authorities.
“We had a letter from the GES Deputy Director General that we had not refunded the money to parents so we will be reposted.
Meanwhile, the templates that they gave us, the refunded lists were all submitted to the office before the letter came and said we have not refunded the money but the letter said some have not paid the money so there should be an investigation and those who are found guilty, discipline action be taken against them.
So we are surprised that now, they are saying that all of us be reposted into the classroom”, he said. According to the teacher, lay down rules and regulations, were not followed by authorities.
He said no effort, was made by even authorities at the district level, to question them about the issue. He said they are still in a state of shock that the issue was not initially handled at the district or national levels but was taken straight to the national.
Already, their replacements have been made and they have reluctantly been posted to different schools to start work in the classroom.
The writ in an order of certiorari to issue, quashing in declaration 2a said “The decision of the Respondent, its agents, employees, assigns or workmen, howsoever called or described, to vary the Applicants conditions of service to their disadvantage;
1.the decisions of the Respondent, its agents, employees, assigns or workmen, howsoever called or described, to appoint different persons to the headteacher positions of the Applicants; respective schools;
2.the decision of the Respondent, its agents, employees, assigns or workmen, howsoever called or described, to bar the Applicants, upfront from applying to the considered for appointment into the headteacher positions in the Ga West and Ga North municipal areas”.
The 3rd request said “Make an order of mandamus to issue, directing the Respondent, its agents, employees, assigns or workmen, howsoever called or described, to reinstate each of the Applicants to the positions of headteacher of the respective schools or otherwise re-designate each of the Applicants as such”.
On September 17, 2019, lawyers for the teachers in a letter addressed to the Ga West Municipal Director of the GES copied to the Director General of the GES, Deputy Minister in-charge of Basic Education and Minister of Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, gave a seven day ultimatum to authorities to undo the harm that had been caused the teachers.
“Accordingly, we wish to notify you (and notice is hereby given) that should you or the Service, within seven days of receipt of this letter, fail to commit, unequivocally, to meeting all the above demands, we shall, without further recourse to you, proceed and resort to other lawful avenues for resolving this matter with the aim, among other things, of fully restoring our Clients to the positions that they would have been in but for your letters (mentioned in Paragraph 1.7 of this letter) or failure to honour their demands herein”.