Reposition NAGRAT in teacher unionism - Regional Secretary advises leadership

BY: Ezekiel E. Sottie
The President of NAGRAT, Mr Angel Carbonu
The President of NAGRAT, Mr Angel Carbonu

The Eastern Regional Secretary of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Mr Ntiamoah Coker, has advised the leadership of the union to reposition the association to continue to play a leading role in the teacher unions in the country.

He said NAGRAT could remain relevant and vibrant by being proactive in responding to its professional development role, membership education and provision of sustainable welfare services for its members.

“It is time to deploy technology in many of our activities such as loan applications, information dissemination, training and data collection on critical needs of the members. In this regard, NAGRAT has created the NAGRAT portal for all members to enrol on it for their benefits,” he said.

The regional secretary said this at the Zonal Delegates Conference involving the Asuogyaman, Lower Manya Krobo, Upper Manya Krobo and Yilo Krobo Zones at Somanya last Monday.

Mr Coker explained that currently, the association seemed to have some challenges including poor and unattractive working conditions of teachers, unfulfilled promises by politicians on the improvement of teachers’ conditions of service, weak flow of information to the grassroots of the association and lack of sacrifice and commitment of elected officers and staff of the association to perform.

WASSCE invigilation

The regional secretary also used the occasion to caution members of the association in the senior high schools, especially on the need to be careful in the event of their invigilation of the West African Senior High Schools Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) in their various schools.

“Let me use this opportunity to advise members of our association, NAGRAT, to comport themselves by obeying the rules and regulations governing the conduct of the WASSCE. It is better to stay away from the examination invigilation than to get involved in WASSCE malpractices,” Mr Coker emphasised.

He explained that, last year, two NAGRAT members who were caught in WASSCE malpractices in the Eastern Region had not received their salaries for the past 10 months which, apart from the financial implications of the affected members, was also an affront to the dignity of the affected teachers, their families as well as NAGRAT as an association.

Code of conduct

The Eastern Regional Chairman of the association, Mr Godwin Awoonor-Yevu, encouraged the members of the association to be abreast of the code of conduct of the Ghana Education Service (GES), their employer.

“If you a teacher and a member of NAGRAT and you are not abreast of the code of conduct of the GES and you fall into trouble, your union cannot help you,” he stated.

The Eastern Regional Gender Desk Officer, Ms Linda Boadiwaa, encouraged the female members of the association to get themselves involved in NAGRAT activities as only a small number of females took higher positions in the association.