A former Director General of the Ghana Education Service, Michael Nsowah has jumped to the defense of beleaguered headmistress of the Aburi Girls Senior High School, saying Mrs. Sylvia Asempa is only abiding by the law in her refusal to proceed on leave.
Mrs. Asempa, who has reached the compulsory retirement age of 60, has been in the headlines for some time now, after some teachers opposed to her continuous stay in office, objected to her chairing a staff meeting of the school.
The teachers had allegedly challenged the continued stay in office by the Headmistress, since she had already reached her retirement age.
Mrs Asempa has however explained that growing calls for her removal are because of her hard stance against the negative behaviour of some male tutors, including those who entertain student girls in their rooms.
However, Mr Nsowah, who also is an educationist, explains in an interview with Emefa Apawu, host of the Big Bite on Xfm, in Accra, that the headmistress’ stance is lawfull.
Describing the ensuing disagreements as unfortunate, Mr Nsowah says members of the public are writing the headmistress off because they do not have all the facts.
He says Mrs Asempa is following due processes.
“It is unfortunate that sometimes the right information do not get to the public. For example, the idea that she is refusing to vacate her position, I think they are giving a wrong picture of the whole thing.
“Normally, when you are going on retirement, six months to the date that you retire, the Controller and Accountant General will indicate at the bottom of your pay slip that in six months, you are due for retirement. Then the Ghana Education Service also starts to prepare to replace whoever is going on retirement… You do not need to create a power vacuum”
Mr Nsowah intimates that there have been instances where people have handed over to their immediate successors for the GES to appoint another person, hence the need for Mrs Asempa to follow the laid down procedures.
Besides he says the outgoing headmistress would have to prepare her handing over notes which will also include an audited account on her stay in office.
In this light, Mr Nsowah is calling for restraint and a dispassionate discussion of the issue, stressing, “so if she has not left now, it is not because she does not want to, but because she wants to abide by the law”.
Meanwhile, sources say the Ghana Education Service has decided not to extend Mrs Asempa’s contract which expired last December.
The sources say her contract was originally extended in September for three months when she attained the compulsory retirement age of sixty.
The service has asked Mrs. Asempa to hand over to the District Director of Education.