The quest by the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to fight corruption in the public sector seems to be far from over.
This is because some officials of the Ghana Education Service (GES) office in Tema have resorted to extorting unauthorized monies from teachers who have gone to submit their filled promotion forms.
It would be recalled the GES early this month released results of promotion interviews conducted last year with 11,000 out of 40,000 teachers being successful.
Even though those who will be going for promotion interview this year submitted their forms at the end of January, the service subsequently gave a window of opportunity till the end of April 2017 to those 29,000 teachers who were not successful to re-apply to be interviewed again this year.
In spite of the short notice, those teachers went through the ordeal of filling the promotion forms again and were asked to pay an amount of GH ₵10 by the officer in charge, one Nana Bonsu when they were submitting the forms at the Tema GES Metropolitan office for onward submission to the region and headquarters.
A visit by News Ghana with some teachers at the offices of the Tema Metropolitan GES office Thursday afternoon confirmed the practice by the officers; Nana Bonsu and a female who was assisting him to receive the forms.
The officer told the teachers, “We are taking GH ₵10 from each teacher who submits his/her forms. The office does not have a vehicle for us so I have to use my own car to Accra before submitting the forms. My car consumes so much fuel,” Nana Bonsu said openly in the presence of two teachers and two officers of the Tema Metropolitan GES.
He further stated, “You teachers come here and submit the forms and that is the end.” I cannot go to Accra fuelling my car myself to submit your forms.”
Some teachers who had submitted their forms and had been asked to pay the illegal fee lamented their frustration by doing so on anonymity.
One of them said, “Why should we be asked to pay GH ₵10 for submitting promotion forms? This is not fair. The Minister for Education and Director-General must come in to get rid of all unscrupulous persons in the service. They are really frustrating us as teachers.
Attempts by News Ghana to speak to the officer involved between 8.50 to 8.55 pm Thursday.
News Ghana at the time of our visit to the Tema Metropolitan GES office spotted a number of completed forms submitted by teachers on the desk of the officers.
The Minister for Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh and the Director-General of the GES, Jacob Kor recently warned officers in the various GES offices across the country to desist from extorting monies from teachers for working on their forms of whatsoever.
The GES has been bedeviled with all sort of ill practices spanning from extortions, change of birth dates, threats of demotions and transfers by people in leadership positions on their subordinates among several others.