Monday, 28 November

Ag. GES D-G qualified, education minister tells agitating teacher unions

Ghana's Education Minister Yaw Osei Adutwum

The new Director-General of the Ghana education service, Dr Eric Nkansah, is qualified for the job, Education Minister Yaw Osei Adutwum has said.

The announcement of his appointment drew criticism from the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), who said he was not qualified because he is a banker rather than a teacher.

However, at a conference of Directors of Education in Accra on Tuesday, 25 October 2022, Dr Adutwum said Dr Nkansah merits the post.

“I officially introduce to you the acting Director-General of the Ghana Education Service, Dr Eric Nkansah,” he began.

To the critics, Dr Adutwum said, Dr Nkansah "has taught in basic schools, he has taught in secondary schools; Geography, contrary to what you heard.”

“Like some teachers, he left to go and do some banking," the minister noted. 

"He got bored with banking and went to the university to teach, and has taught for over ten years at the Kumasi Technical University," Dr Adutwum added. 

He continued: "When I became the Minister of Education, I brought him to the Ministry, where he became the Director for Tertiary Education, so, for almost two years, he has been the Director for Tertiary Education.”

“Another responsibility he has also handled very well was the fact that he was my lead person for all labour negotiations. So the union leaders know him more than me. He has been working with them on labour negotiations. He was the Ministry of Education’s lead person for the negotiation of COLA.”

Last week, NAGRAT demanded that President Nana Akufo-Addo withdraw the appointment of the new Director-General because, according to them, he was not one of them.

“The teacher unions started press conferences yesterday [Wednesday, 19 October 2022]. I did mine yesterday and this morning, my brothers in GNAT were supposed to do theirs until there was a development that annoyed and surprised all of us; that a new director-general has been appointed to the Ghana education service,” the President of NAGRAT, Mr Angel Carbonu told journalists at a press conference.

He said: “The authority to appoint a director-general is the president of the land's. Unfortunately, contrary to what the teacher unions indicated – that we would want a director-general who is a professional teacher, who has passed through the mill, who can bring his knowledge, skills and influence to bear on the activities of teachers and non-teachers in the Ghana Education Service, contrary to that, the gentleman who was appointed yesterday, is not a teacher.”

“He is a banking officer who was a special assistant in the office of the Minister, and has been appointed as the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service,” he indicated.

“We are not happy with this development. It is as if we don’t have professionals and well-educated people who have gone through the mill in education in this country, to run education,” Mr Carbonu added.

He bemoaned: “It is as if we are being told that we, educationists in the Ghana Education Service, are not good to manage education in this country.

We are calling on the President to rescind this decision; that the gentleman who has been appointed, is not qualified by any standard, to be the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service.”

Mr Carbonu said Dr Nkansah is an outlier.

“If you look at the history of Directors-General of the Ghana Education Service, they are either senior officers within the Ghana Education Service or professors from universities who have an education background and we can take them one after the other and you’ll see and know their credentials.”

“The gentleman who has been appointed is qualified as a banking officer, who has done some small stints of teaching with Kumasi Polytechnic in those days.”

“When the Minister was appointed, he became a special assistant to the Minister and does not have any credentials or qualification to be Director-General of the Ghana Education Service.”

“We are calling for his removal, he is not qualified to be Director-General of the Ghana Education Service and his presence will not motivate professionals who have been in this service for more than 20 to 30 years and have risen to higher ranks within the Ghana Education Service.”

Dr Nkansah replaces Prof Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa who was recently relieved of his post.