Don’t focus only on secondary education - GNAT

BY: Shirley Asiedu Addo

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has asked the government not to improve and resource secondary education at the expense of basic level education.

The association said while it appreciated the government’s immense efforts at promoting access to education, it must work harder to strengthen education, especially at the basic level, to improve standards.

The Central Regional Chairman of the association, Mr Isaac Owusu, was speaking to the Daily Graphic during fun games organised by the association to mark World Teachers’ Day in Cape Coast last Tuesday.

The teachers took time off from the classroom to play games such as ludo, oware, sack race, lime and spoon at the Cape Coast Stadium while their pupils cheered them on.

The association also organised an eye screening exercise at the same venue to mark the day.

Free SHS commendable

He remarked that while it was commendable that government had opened access to secondary education for all, basic education, being the foundation of education, must be re-assessed and supported with the needed logistics and infrastructure to promote work at the basic level.

He also said it was crucial that the monitoring and supervision department of the education sector was adequately resourced to do their work.

No sheets

He noted, for instance, that many offices of the Ghana Education Service (GES) in the region did not even have papers to type letters.

“Many cannot afford to buy fuel for vehicles to supervise and monitor teaching and learning in the schools.

Mr Owusu said “even A4 sheets to write letters to schools and teachers are not available in the offices. GNAT had to step in to donate A4 sheets and ruled sheets and pens to the directorates of education.”

On the well-being of teachers, he said, it was important that teachers were paid reasonable salaries to energise them to give their best.

He indicated also that government, through the Ministry of Education, must ensure that teachers who deserved to be promoted were put on their new levels on time.

Empower leader

The Central Regional Secretary of GNAT, Mr William Boadu Abedi, said creating a conducive working environment for teachers would empower them to prepare the nation’s future leaders adequately for accelerated national growth.

He advised the teachers to reflect on their work and resolve to work even harder with the resources available while the government worked to improve their conditions.