The Ministry of Education has reacted to Prof Stephen Adei’s call for a 50% drop in the salary of teachers who want to remain at home because schools have been shut down.
The Ministry’s deputy Public Relations Officer, Kwasi Obeng-Fosu, noted that the teachers cannot suffer salary cuts because they did not call for the closure of schools.
The Professor Emeritus of the Ashesi University said on Joy News’ Upfront on Thursday that teachers must be ready to waive half of their salaries if they want to continue staying at home.
Prof Adei made the comment in reaction to concerns by some teachers and education stakeholders about ongoing plans to reopen the school.
The National Council of Parent-Teacher Associations, for instance, has called on government to postpone talks on the reopening of schools.
Prof Adei said if teachers are unwilling to return to classrooms, then they must be willing to accept only half their salaries because public workers are not entitled to their salaries when they are not working.
But when GhanaWeb reached out to the Education Ministry for a reaction to Prof Adei’s comment, Kwasi Obeng-Fosu, said teachers have only expressed concern about preparations that must precede the re-opening of schools.
According to him, the teachers have not said they are unwilling to return to the classroom to teach.
“What the Prof said, he has a point. But to say the teachers are doing nothing while at home is misplaced. The teachers are willing and ready to work. We have a pandemic on our hands, and they have stated their points. We [government] called them for their input and we have gotten their input,” he said in defence of the concerns raised by the teachers.
He added: “We are not in normal times…teachers are home doing all manner of things. Teachers are helping with online learning, they are sending questions…some have created WhatsApp platforms to monitor students and send feedback to parents.”
He added that some teachers are also working on content for the government’s online learning platforms, for instance, the Ghana Learning TV.
“The same teachers that some are claiming are not doing anything, they are the same teachers working in groups, creating content for our online platforms,” Kwasi Obeng-Fosu said.
The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) however declined to speak on Prof Adei’s comment.