The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) is protesting government’s decision to scrap teacher motivation allowance paid teachers every term.
The Association is angry that such a decision has been taken ahead of negotiations between teachers, government and the fair wages and salaries commission.
The Education Ministry says the allowance which was levied on students at the Senior High School level should no longer be charged.
The Public Relations Officer of the Ministry Francis Gbadago said parents have constantly complained about the payment of these fees every term.
He said parents have realised that the purpose of paying this fee is no longer relevant.
“At the time, salaries of teachers were not improved so the teacher motivation was introduced. But as we speak, salaries of teachers have been improved, especially under the Single Spine Salary Structure,” he said.
Mr Gbadago further explained the payment of such motivation allowances is not allowed in other sectors especially in the health sector.
“When you go to the hospital, for example, you do not expect to be asked to pay doctor or nurses motivation [fees].
“On this score we have realised that this particular need for the payment of teacher motivation has outlived its purpose and so there was the need to listen to the parents more and scrap the teacher motivation allowances that parents pay on a term by term basis,” he stated.
But the decision has not gone down well with members of NAGRAT.
President of the Association, Christian Addai-Poku said government is increasingly making life unbearable for teachers.
He threatened that the teachers will cut down the teaching hours for students.
“It is now a norm that every SHS has increased the GES approved periods on the time table to be able to cover the backlog of topics that are not covered and that is why this [motivation allowance] has been instituted for the teachers who do extra work for the students.
“So if GES is saying they are scrapping it, it is fine but they should also make sure that teachers are not coerced to teach more than the approved number of periods, the approved number of hours in the school,” he said.
He said under normal circumstances teaching starts at 8:00 am and closes at 1:30 but the teachers have decided to take on extra hours and periods which makes students close at 3:30 or 4:00 pm daily.
He accused government of implementing policies which over the last four years have made teachers even poorer.