TEWU, Education International launch COVID-19 initiative

BY: Emmanuel Bonney
Mr Yussif Abubakari (left), Finance Officer, EI Africa Regional Office,  presenting some of the items to Mr Mark Dankyira Korankye, General Secretary of TEWU
Mr Yussif Abubakari (left), Finance Officer, EI Africa Regional Office, presenting some of the items to Mr Mark Dankyira Korankye, General Secretary of TEWU

Education International (EI) and the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) have launched an initiative that will support the  government to fight and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in the school environment.

The EI-TEWU COVID-19 initiative is set up to provide a continues update on the impact of COVID-19 on education support personnel through an independent and objective research and also support the effort of government to contain the spread of the virus, especially in the secondary schools.

“The EI-TEWU COVID-19 initiative, through the support of Education International and its regional block, Education International Africa Region-(EIRAF), has acquired about 10,500 customised hand sanitizer and 125,000 pieces of disposal face masks to be distributed across the country.

“We TEWU understand that our support to our members is not only confined to negotiations of salaries and conditions of service but the overall welfare of our members including their safety and  health,” the General Secretary of TEWU, Mr Mark Dankyira Korankye, said at the launch of the event in Accra.

Launch

He said the launch of the initiative was timely and responsive, given the increasing number of outbreaks of the virus in secondary schools, especially in the wake of the spread of the Delta variant.

He noted that prior to receiving funds from EI to kick start the initiative, the leadership sent a circular to its members during the early days of the outbreak, encouraging them to adhere to the safety protocols outlined by the government.

“I am satisfied to say that it was a sense of relief to us as a country that government has acquired some vaccines for the populace. However, the vaccination roll out targeted some categories of workers in the country.

“I want to use this platform to share in the global agenda of EI towards ensuring that the vaccines acquired  are equitably distributed and accessible to all,” the TEWU General Secretary said  “Thank Education International and its regional block, Education International Africa Region-EIRAF, for their unflinching support towards TEWU and we hope this continuous as we serve the interest of our members, he added”

Global

Mr Korankye said globally, it was evident that COVID-19 had greatly affected the world of work and that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) report on the impact of the COVID-19 in the world of work revealed that about 255 million representing 8.8 per cent of people working as full time -equivalent jobs ( FTE)  lost their jobs in 2020.

He said the impact of the COVID-19 had not only affected the economic frontiers of countries but also the social space, including education.

Resolve

The Finance Officer of EI, Africa Regional Office, Mr Yusif Abudulai, thanked TEWU for its resolve to protect its members for taking steps to protect its members from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“EI will continue to work with partners to undertake initiatives like this in order to help curtail the spread of the virus.

For his part, the Chairman of TEWU, Mr Ambrose Yao Kwadzodza, charged the government to consider making TEWU members part of the frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19 since they were always on the ground working on the various campuses.