BY MUNTALLA INUSAH
THE COMMERCIAL Division of the Accra High Court presided over by Justice Jennifer Abena Dadzie has dismissed a suit filed by 92 headteachers of public basic schools who were demoted by the Ghana Education Service (GES) for charging unapproved fees.
The headteachers stationed within the Ga West and North municipalities in the Greater Accra Region were challenging their demotion by the GES.
In court on Tuesday, when the case was called, Justice Dodoo ruled that the applicants did not exhaust all the internal laid-down procedures in addressing their concerns.
The court ruled that since the applicants who were demoted from headteacher position to subject teachers had their salaries intact, they could not argue otherwise.
It was also the ruling of the court that, the decision of the GES to advertise their positions and also to instruct the applicants not to reapply was well within its mandate.
DAILY HERITAGE ‘S Court Correspondent Muntalla Inusah reports that the courtroom went to a dead silence moments after the court dismissed the application for lack of merit.
The applicants, according to Inusah, were looking very disappointed while leaving the premises of the court.
In their suit before the court, the teachers argued that their removal by the GES was wrong because it was done without giving them a hearing.
They, therefore, prayed the court to order their reinstatement.
The headteachers reportedly did not obey the GES’ directive not to take monies from pupils as printing fees for their third term examination.
In defence of the action of the headteachers, the Zonal Chairman of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) in Ga West, Richard Kwashie Kovey, said the headteachers were forced to make the decision because funds for the examination delayed in arriving.
He challenged the punishment being meted out to the headteachers, describing it as unfair as some of them are being demoted to teach at the basic level.
“We are looking at 110 headteachers. For most of them, what we have heard is that they are being sent to teach in kindergarten.
“If you send someone who is a maths or social studies teacher to kindergarten, you can imagine what will happen to those 4-year-old KG students.”
The Ghana Education Service had warned headteachers against charging parents to print examination questions.
Headteachers were given the liberty to write examination questions on the chalkboard, sparking a trend with teachers posting photos of written questions on the board.
The Ghana Education Service later directed that headteachers of public basic schools should contact printers in their locality to print exam papers for them on credit while waiting for the Based Grant (GHc5.00 per head) to be released to defray the indebtedness therefrom.
That, out of the GHc5.00 per head, headteachers should use GHc3.00 per head for pupils in KG1 to Primary 3, GHc4.00 per head for pupils in Primary 4 to Primary 6 and GHc5.00 for pupils in junior high schools.
Some headteachers levied the pupils since they could not find the resources to print the questions on credit.