A lawsuit challenging a decision by the Ghana Education Service (GES) to demote and transfer some 92 basic school head teachers has been thrown out by an Accra High Court.
The head teachers stationed at Ga West and North Municipalities were sanctioned by the GES for charging unapproved fees.
Dissatisfied with the decision, the aggrieved teachers pursued the matter in court.
The court presided over by Mrs. Justice Jennifer Abena Dadzie ruled that the Head teachers had not exhausted all their internal mechanism in addressing their issues.
According to the court, their salaries had not been reduced even though they were demoted.
The court held that the decision of the GES to advertise their positions and also to instruct the applicants not to reapply was well positioned within the mandate of the Service.
The 92 Head teachers in the Greater Accra Region were contesting their demotion and transferred by the Ghana Education Service after they had charged unapproved examination fees.
The Head teachers in their suit contended that their removal by the GES was wrong because they were not given a hearing, hence prayed the court to order their reinstatement.
The Head teachers 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 Head teachers, the Zonal Chairman of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) in Ga West, Richard Kwashie Kovey, said the Head teachers were forced to make the decision because funds for the examination delayed in arriving.
According to the Head teachers in July 2019, they did follow the practice of charging their pupils some monies to procure printing examination papers and other examination materials.
They held that it was during that period that their attention was drawn to the fact that the Director General of the Service had previously issued a notice warning the Head teachers of all public basic schools to desist from charging such sums.
Not quite long, letters were written to them summarily demoting them from Head teachers’ position to regular classroom teaching positions and arbitrarily transferring them to different schools in different locations although they had refunded the monies collected.
The Ghana Education Service in their affidavit in opposition stated that “No formal disciplinary action has been taken against the offending head teachers.”
The GES held that the head teacher position was only a “privilege” and not a promotion, adding that the decision to repost them to the classroom was not a demotion, since their rank and salaries were not affected.
Additionally, the GES held that the reposting of the head teachers was done in accordance with due process and the condition of service of the Service.
By Jonathan Ofori, Daily Mail GH