The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has called on the government to take urgent steps to address two important issues affecting teachers in the country.
The General Secretary of GNAT, Mr David Ofori Acheampong, who made the appeal in an address read on his behalf in Kumasi, stated that, “as we speak now, we are aware of efforts being made by the Minster of Employment and Labour Relations, Controller and Accountant General Department (CAGD) and its consultant to pay the arrears of over 10,000 teachers out of a total of 30,000 through a supplementary payment voucher after the July salaries have been paid”.
Reacting to a statement by the Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori Attah, during the presentation of the mid-year budget review statement on the transfer of funds in the Temporary Pension Fund account for the restoration of five public sector worker pension after seven years agitation, he was emphatic that the Ghana Education Service Occupational Pension Scheme’s portion of the 80 months’ arrears of the Temporary Pension Fund Account (TPFA) had not been released.
He said the association, therefore, disagreed with the minister’s statement on the issue.
The address was read on Mr Acheampong’s behalf by Mr Kwamena Ahenakwa-Quarshie, the Head of Department, Salaries and Working Conditions at GNAT, during the closing ceremony of the week-long 56th Ghana National Association of Teachers/Canadian Teachers Federation (CTF) professional development programme in Kumasi.
He said the patience of members of GNAT was running out, and added that if nothing was done to resolve the two issues by the end of August, the association ‘’would come out with various initiatives.”
The general secretary appealed to the government to, as a matter of urgency, take action on the issues and called on all teachers to remain calm and wait for a positive response from the government.
A total of 160 teachers from the Northern Region attended the one-week capacity building workshop being organised in batches by GNAT/CTF for 480 teachers from the Northern, Upper East and West and Brong Ahafo regions.
Some of the participants who have taught from one to three years were taken through lessons in mentorship while all the participants had the opportunity to be trained in lessons in professional development.
The GNAT, in collaboration with the Canadian Teachers Federation, had for the past 56 years, collaborated in the areas of capacity building and exchange programmes.
Since the commencement of the collaboration, it had helped GNAT in the formation of credit union for members across the country, award of bursaries to female teachers to further their studies in the areas of gender, book development, ‘Nkabom’ and mentorship for beginners and head teachers as well.
The Ashanti Regional Director of Education, Ms Mary Owusu Achaw, in an address read on her behalf, commended GNAT and CTF for the capacity-building workshop which it had undertaken for the past 56 years to enhance effective teaching and learning in schools in the country.
She confirmed that the quality of training offered teachers and the systematic support for their professional growth were what would ensure that the education system reaped the full potential of teachers’ contribution to quality education.