July 25, 2024

Dear GES headquarters, note these 4 teachers’ issues

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Ghana Education Service, GES

Dear GES headquarters, note these 4 teachers’ issues

The Ghana Education Service, GES, is the largest workforce in the country. GES employs people of different backgrounds. The service implements government policies that affect almost everyone in the country. 

GES is responsible for implementing pre-tertiary educational policies in the country. 

GES as a responsible institution offers some opportunities to staff. However, the service has some deficiencies in the implementation of the opportunities it offers.

There is also some general administrative issue in the service that affects the classroom teachers. GES must therefore address these issues. 

Many teachers have lost lives and property due to the lapses. Some of the issues also affect the learners greatly 

Others also read: GES Director General Dr. Nkansah, Leaving Unprecedented Mark

1. Search for vacancies

GES has established a rule that any teacher seeking transfer to another district should obtain an assurance letter from that district. In other words, the teacher must look for a vacancy on his own. 

Teachers spend a lot of time, money, and traveling risk to search for vacancies. Teachers absent from school as well to look for assurance letters. 

Apart from looking for vacancies, the teacher must also spend time and money to apply for the transfer/ release. 

The teacher and the students can be saved from all these processes. 

Suggested solution

Digitization, digitization, digitization. GES headquarters can collate all vacancies nationwide. The vacancies can also be collated according to subjects or by grade level.

GES headquarters can place all vacancies on digital platforms. The service can do this collation about a month before opening the portal for applications. 

Staff can then visit the portal to select their choice locations. The digital platform can eliminate all inconveniences associated with securing an assurance letter and the transfer application. 

The digital application module also has the advantage to eliminate overstaffing in some schools. This is because the current system needs the approval of officers to secure assurance letters that are susceptible to human interference. 

See also: Secure GES transfer letter easily

2. Study leave quota for deprived areas

The Ghana Education Service, GES, provides a study opportunity for a predetermined number of teachers each year. The predetermined number of teachers is allocated on a quota basis according to subjects. 

However, GES does not disclose any quota allocation based on deprived areas. The service only requires a reduced number of years from teachers in deprived areas. This is where the problem begins. 

Officers of GES in the districts are the ones primarily in charge of recommending staff for study leave. The officers use their discretion to award or recommend staff for the study. Their discretion has no limitation concerning whether the applicant is in a deprived area or not. 

The officers sometimes overlook staff in deprived areas in the districts. In other words, there is no guideline regarding how many staff must come from urban, deprived, and very deprived areas. 

Admirably, GES has detailed guidelines/quotas regarding the number of teachers for each subject area that must be selected. 

To emphasize a point, GES only makes a 5% allocation for music and laboratory technicians. Also, a 5% allocation was reserved for Government, History, and Geography only. Meanwhile, the allocation to science subjects includes French language and English which are arts or humanities subjects. 

Suggested solution

It is suggested that GES must include detailed quota allocation based on location. That is an urban area, a deprived area, and very deprived. 

This is because teachers in very deprived areas become very demotivated when approval is given to colleagues in places perceived to be more open in the district. 

The service must request a mapping of the district and the applications for the study leave allocated as such 

Study leave with pay and without pay in GES

Study leave is an opportunity the employer gives employees to go for further studies while the employer assures them of their job upon their return. 

Employees usually take advantage of the study leave opportunity to further their education. There are two types of study leave in Ghana Education Service, GES. That is;

1. Study leave without pay

GES does not pay salaries to the employees when utilize study leave without pay opportunity. However, the service assures the employees of the vacancy on their return.

2. Study leave with pay

GES continues to pay salaries to the staff while they are in school. The service also assures the staff of vacancies when they complete school. Many staff prefers the study leave with pay for obvious reasons. 

3. Issues of the confidential letter for assurance letter

The Ghana Education Service, GES, has introduced the need for confidential letters to secure assurance letters. A confidential letter must be written and sealed without the knowledge of the staff involved. 

The practice is rather creating more problems than the solution it must provide. Supervisors are using the confidential letter to sabotage the teachers. 

It is reported that some supervisors are denying or delaying the issuance of confidential letters.

Also, some supervisors are inserting jargon and unpalatable characteristics of their subordinates who wish to leave the schools or the districts.

Suggested solution

The most important benefit of the need for the confidential letter is to create awareness. This is to enable the district or the school to also request a replacement. 

Therefore, GES should demand only a cover letter from the districts or the Senior High Schools. 

A cover letter is a letter that only acknowledges the action of the staff. Any saboteur will be unable to use the acknowledgment letter to sabotage. Especially when the staff will have the opportunity to look at the letter. 

There is also a seeming confusion in some districts about whether district offices or the senior high school management should write confidential letters for SHS staff. It is suggested that the senior high school authorities should be allowed to write the cover letter to avoid the long bureaucratic processes. 

What is an assurance letter?

An assurance letter is a letter that a particular district (through a school in the case of Senior high schools) gives to staff from another district to assure him or her about a vacancy.

The staff then attached the assurance letter to an application for a transfer/ release from his or her existing district.

Benefits of the confidential letter

The confidential letter has the following benefits. 

a. The teacher to create awareness and inform the existing management that he or she will want to leave the school/ district. This will make the existing management also declare a vacancy for that portfolio

b. The current management is to provide a snap overview of the personality of the teacher to the new school or district he or she wishes to move to. 

4. Issues with a filing system in GES offices

Anyone’s document can get lost in any GES office. Staff blames it on sabotage for various reasons. However, the filling system is the most glaring issue anyone can point to easily.

Staff reported a personal experience where his application for transfer documents got lost in one of the offices after the application deadline for transfers. He was asked to restart from the base after the national deadline elapsed. He believed the scene resemble sabotage. However, he thought the filling system could play a role based on his observation. 

Suggested solution

GES does not need to invent the wheel. GES uses a system at the headquarters where every document that passes through the registry gets input into the computer system. The data could be retrieved anytime without recourse to the paper documents. 

The system at the national headquarters should be deployed to the levels for efficient and effective processes.

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1 thought on “Dear GES headquarters, note these 4 teachers’ issues

  1. GES study leave now has been turn into politics. In some districts, you can teach in a romote or deprived area for donkey years and you will apply and your name will never be mention.
    It’s a very worrying situation, especially, in the deprived districts in the Northern and Upper East regions.

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