Education

Minister must admit there is no money to pay teachers – former GES boss

Seth Terkper, Finance Minister
Seth Terkper, Finance Minister

Former Director of the Ghana Education Service, Michael Nsowah, has rubbished reasons given by the Finance Ministry for the nonpayment of salaries of more than 3,000 teachers for the past three years.

According to the Ministry, the teachers who form the Coalition of Unpaid Teachers, do not have their names on the payroll of the Controller and Accountant General, explaining that they have not been given the financial clearance to that effect.

The Ministry further said the Ghana Education Service, which is the employer, is responsible for submitting the names of the affected teachers to it for the necessary clearance to be given before they could be paid.

But the former Director General disagrees with the Finance Ministry’s justification.

“If you have approved my budget that I can employ 60,000 teachers, and I haven’t exceeded the number, why do you talk of clearance and protocol when we need teachers? I don’t think anybody can convince me that they did not go through the proper protocol. What protocol? If there is no money tell us,” he said

Explaining further, Mr Nsowah wondered whether the previous systems in place have been changed, arguing that, the emolument of teachers is agreed upon in the yearly budget, hence the teachers are supposed to be paid unless their monies have been used for other things.

“I think the teacher associations should find out if the old practice has changed because they are supposed to be absorbed in the budget. They should go back to the budget and find out how much was approved. If these teachers were not there, where do you think those children would have been?” he asked.

Background

The over 3,000 teachers have been denied their salaries for the past three years on grounds that the Ghana Education Service employed them without seeking the financial clearance from the Finance Ministry.

The teacher unions have blamed the GES for their dilemma. Some of the unpaid teachers claim they have had to resort loans and borrowing from friends and family for survival.

They accused Ghana National Association of Teacher, National Association of Graduate Teachers and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers of not doing much to help them.

According to the leadership of the three unions have received GHC 200,000 each to influence the delay in the payment of their salaries because they do not belong to the three unions; an allegation the unions have denied.

Meanwhile, the unpaid teachers are planning to picket at the Finance Ministry Wednesday [today] to register their displeasure.

Sarah Parku|3FM 92.7|3news.com

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