Following a claim by Michael Owusu Afriyie aka Teacher Kwadwo that he was dismissed by the Ghana Education Service (GES) primarily because he refused to delete a video he had recorded which could incriminate some local officials, the government agency has rebutted, insisting that the former employee was sacked for gross misconduct.
A statement issued by George Sarfo Kantanka, Akrofuom District Education Director, said the process for Teacher Kwadwo’s removal was fair, ghanaweekend.com reports.
“His removal from the service was purely based on professional misconducts: absenteeism, his perpetual refusal to prepare lesson plan and insubordination,” parts of the statement read.
“Mr. Michael Owusu Afriyie was not regular to school and the records are there to show. The records also show that he was queried (given several warnings) by the District Directorate, his SISO (Circuit Supervisor), and headmaster. He refused to respond to the queries and the invitations to him from the Directorate to come for discussion on same.”
In December 2021, GES issued a sack letter to Teacher Kwadwo and attributed his dismissal to gross insubordination among other charges. His dismissal courted controversies with some alleging that the popular teacher was booted out for his unbowed activism, an observation Teacher Kwadwo did not contradict.
Six months after his dismissal, Teacher Kwadwo on June 17, 2022, published a video he claimed was the genesis of his expulsion. Without equivocation, a livid Teacher Kwadwo said his advocacy for students and teachers to be treated with some level of care and respect, coupled with his decision to expose wrongdoings in the country’s educational system, particularly when he had been assigned to teach, birthed the basis for his dismissal.
Capturing scenes to back his claim, he alleged in the video that a newly built school block had been converted into an accommodation facility for workers of the Forestry Commission at the expense of pupils who were studying under a dilapidated structure.
“This is the room which is supposed to be the headmaster’s office, it is locked. This is also another room which is supposed to be a classroom for the children but right now, they have given it out to the Forestry Commission workers and now look at the kind of structure the children are learning under,” he lamented.
Without any evidence, Teacher Kwadwo further named some officials who, he alleged, orchestrated his sacking over his failure to delete the video.
“They did everything possible to make me delete this video from my phone but I said no. So their next move was to frame something on me and get me sacked. The following people below are all part of the evil plan: Akrofuom District Director, Mr. George Sarfo Kantanka; Human Resources, Mr. David Tetteh; PRO, Mr. Charles Clifford Baah: Planning Officer, Daniel Kwaku Gyasi; Research Officer, Ernest Okyere Edison; and D.C.E., Hon. Maurice Jonas Woode,” he stated.
The GES, however, has mentioned that the process that led to Teacher Kwadwo’s dismissal was just.
“During the disciplinary committee hearing of his case, he brought a lawyer throughout the period, and at the end, they asked for clemency when the facts were made available. His case has absolutely nothing to do with victimization,” the statement said.