The National President of the Conference of Principals of Colleges of Education (PRINCOF), Dr Emmanuel Nyamekye, has revealed that the stance taken by the Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG) by embarking on the annual mandatory leave for teachers on the 46 campuses is a strike in disguise.
According to him, the leadership of the Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG) requested its members to proceed on leave without prior approval from PRINCOF. He indicated that CETAG’s actions are ridiculing colleges of education across the country.
Dr Nyamekye noted that “it is not right and they should stop it”, emphasizing that the move makes other associations look like they are “some advanced JHS” which shouldn’t be the case at all.
“It is unfortunate the stance taken by CETAG. It is a strike in disguise. If it is not a strike, how come a union will direct its members, all of them at the same time, to go on leave? It’s mind-boggling. I have been working since 1991 and it has never happened.”Dr Emmanuel Nyamekye
Dr Nyamekye explained that CETAG could have informed PRINCOF of its concerns and further discussions and actions could have been taken to address the issues. He stated that some members of CETAG are unhappy with their leadership, hence the mandatory leave they want their members to go on is not as effective as they make it seem.
Meanwhile, Dr Nyamekye noted that PRINCOF will have a meeting with the leadership of CETAG to discuss the way forward.
“We hope they will come and attend that meeting so that together we see how we can iron out these issues.”Dr Emmanuel Nyamekye
CETAG’s annual mandatory leave
On his part, CETAG’s National President, Prince Obeng-Himah, cited the Harmonised Conditions of Service for the Colleges of Education, revealing that it was not mandatory for teachers to seek permission before embarking on leave. He stated that in redesigning of the academic calendar after COVID-19, it became such that academic work starts from January to December. He expressed that CETAG was not informed or consulted during the design of the calendar even though they were the ones who are supposed to teach.
With this, Mr Obeng-Himah explained that the same teachers will have to teach throughout the year without any form of break.
“There is no way somebody will be able to work throughout the year without break, we are working to push Ghana’s agenda forward but we are not working to kill ourselves. We need to survive and we also have families.”Prince Obeng-Himah
It will be recalled that all the 46 public Colleges of Education which are members of CETAG proceeded on leave from September 1, 2022. They are expected to take their 28 days of annual leave and return on October 10.
This move follows a press statement in August 2022 issued by the association demanding their full conditions of service and other compensatory packages.
The group gave the government an August 31 ultimatum to address its concerns. It is therefore believed that this action is in protest against the government’s inability to meet its demands.