A number of people are clamouring in Tempane, a district in the Upper East region, for the removal of the district’s director of education, Rashid Tee Anaffu, and some other education officers for some actions they say constitute misconduct and poor leadership.

Development watchers say this is the first time such a demonstration has happened in the region.

Videos emerged in the district around midweek and spread beyond its boundaries, showing some young men in red bands and carrying placards during a demonstration in the area.

The demonstrators.

A press statement issued Wednesday by the demonstrators, who say they are natives of the district, announced that another “protest” would take place next Wednesday in front of the Ghana Education Service’s office building in the area if their demands were not met.

The demonstrators say they comprise concerned youth, parents, educators and students among other members of the district.  

According to them, the district director has been abusing his office through discrimination and unfair practices in the employment and promotion of education staff.

Tempane District is the east of the Upper East region.

They also accused him of misappropriation of funds, unauthorised payments, extortions as well as unwarranted demotions, intimidation and transfers of education workers.

“Specific instance is the demand by the director for SPIPS (School Performance Improvement Plans) of GH¢200.00 from each of the forty-seven Ghana Accountability for Learning Outcomes Project (GALOP) schools amounting to GH¢9,400 for internal auditing purposes on 16 April, 2024.

“He failed to conduct examinations sponsored by GES headquarters in the 2022/2023 academic year termly. He extorted from parents an amount of Gh¢20.00 per student for other examinations organised and supervised by the directorate because of financial benefits but uses printing machines and materials in the office provided by government,” the statement said.

Misuse of Resources— Petitioners level more allegations

The community members also accused the director in their statement of levying the forty-seven GALOP schools Gh¢200.00 each to transport books from the regional education directorate to the district

He did not spend the monies collected from the schools on transporting the books to them, according to the petitioners. They said he only used the office car and fuel to transport the books.

The midweek demonstration was followed by a press conference.

The angry residents say the director’s alleged actions have had a negative impact on students, teachers and the community at large.

“Numerous reports suggest that the director has engaged in unethical behaviour, including the misuse of district resources and retaliation against staff who raise concerns.

“Also, there have been other reports of unethical conduct, such as discrimination, harassment, or violation of educational policies,” the statement added.

Petitioners make more demands

In addition to the request for the removal of the director and other officers, the petitioners are also asking for the appointment of an interim director to restore confidence and stability in the district.

They are also calling for “an independent audit of the district’s administrative practices and implementation of robust oversight mechanisms by the District Education Oversight Committee (DEOC) to prevent future misconduct”.

They say their protest will continue until their demands— the removal of the district director among others— are met.

“The Director’s actions have eroded confidence in the district’s administration, creating a climate of distrust and disillusionment among stakeholders. The current situation is unacceptable.

“Our children and community deserve leaders who uphold the highest standards of integrity and are committed to the success and safety of our teachers and students. We are calling for Mr Tee Rashid Anaffu and his allies to be removed from their positions immediately to allow sanity to prevail in the district directorate,” they emphasised.

Moneys requested from GALOP schools were for auditors— District Director

In response to the allegations, the district director admitted he requested monies from the GALOP schools.

But he said he demanded the money to settle the fuel, accommodation and lunch bills of some auditors who were scheduled to visit the district.

The district director, Rashid Tee Anaffu.

“When we got letters that auditors were coming to audit their books, they would want to go to every school. Not only GALOP schools, but every school. Now, other schools like JSS and those that are non-GALOP, none have the money. So, I called the GALOP school heads and told them that they should find a way to raise money so that we can take care of these auditors.

“Because they come with their cars, they would need fuel, they would need a place to sleep, they would need lunch. I called them and we agreed on the amount each school should contribute, depending on the quantum of money in your account. Some received more than Gh¢3,000.00,” he told journalists in the district.

District director reveals how he instructed school heads to raise money for auditors from GALOP purse

Continuing, the district director said he asked schools that received more than Gh¢3,000.00 to give Gh¢200, those that received between Gh¢2,000.00 and Gh¢3,000.00 to contribute Gh¢150 and those who had between Gh¢1,000.00 and Gh¢1,500.00 to offer Gh¢50.

“We even agreed on the literature, how to phrase it. And I said when I invite you to my office for an official meeting, you are entitled to Gh¢50— Gh¢30 for your fuel, Gh¢20 for your lunch. This is an expenditure that we must meet. So, go back and write that the number of times I invited you to my office and you didn’t take lunch was four times so that you could raise Gh¢200 each.

“Keep the money; I won’t be around. When the auditors come, you would call the human resource manager and you would see how you can attend to them. I just [came] back from Ouagadougou when the human resource manager called that the first team of auditors had come; they had started working; they were seeking fuel of 30 gallons; one of them was staying in a guest house here; they needed daily ration of food,” he said.

Rashid Tee Anaffu.

He added: “So, they spent from the sports money for them to do their work for one week. They have since presented their report. But I have asked them to synthesise the report on the errors that we would have committed on our SPIPs so that I would invite all the heads for the two auditors who went through their books to give them an orientation and point out the common errors that they’ve been committing”. 

Protesters not members of the district— Director

When Media Without Borders engaged the district director further on Saturday for his side of the story, he said the matter was before the regional education directorate and would, for that reason, refrain from “refuting the allegations” directed at him.

The Upper East Regional Education Directorate, Bolgatanga.

Nonetheless, he said all the allegations levelled against him by the petitioners were unfounded. He further stated that the protesters were not members of the district, contrary to their claim. He said they came to Tempane from the surrounding districts to foment the protest against him.

Rashid Tee Anaffu says the allegations directed at him are baseless.

But when asked if requesting for money from schools in his district to pay the accommodation, fuel and lunch bills of auditors was appropriate, he said he was not in a position to comment on it and ended the telephone conversation hurriedly.  

When contacted, the lead convener of the upcoming protest, Robert Awini, maintained that the demonstrators were concerned members of the district and reiterated that the protest would come off next Wednesday as planned.

Click to watch the video of the district director disclosing how he requested for money from school heads for auditors below:

Video Credit: TV3.

Source: Edward Adeti/Media Without Borders/mwbonline.org/Ghana


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