Heads of 16 local groups of the Ho District of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), has called for teachers to be considered as an essential workforce and accorded the needed support.
Mathias Tulasi, a co-convener who spoke on behalf of the groups at a press conference held in Ho, said despite indispensable essence, teachers continued to languish in occupational challenges while the Nation’s leaders plugged ears to their cries.
He said the established neglect of teachers could affect the nation’s democratic progress, as “it is education and enlightenment that lift a nation to the heights of progress and greatness”.
Mr. Tulasi said challenges with promotional and licensure examinations, as well as with salary increments, and allowances among a host of others, continued to berate passion and commitment, and must be addressed.
“There is no denying the fact that education in Ghana is incomplete without Ghanaian teachers.
This is a fact that cannot be contested. But the obvious question that always begs for answers is whether Ghanaian teachers are given the due recognition, good remuneration and the respect that they deserve.
“We demand the payment of the following allowances by the government as other sectors are enjoying: rent allowance, allowance for form masters at the JHS and for class teachers at the primary school, risk allowance, research allowance, and allowance for teachers in deprived communities,” he said.
The groups added that the habitual delay in paying teacher allowances had affected professional advancement, while retirement continued to be a period of desolation for most teaching professionals.
“There are discrepancies and discriminations with the payment of retirement benefits to teachers in recent times as compared to what happened in the past. If this is not a poor way of treating retirees, then, we do not really know how to term it.
“Our retirees are worse off these days and no one seems to care. SSNIT is now killing retirees slowly,” Mr. Tulasi lamented.
The group called on the leadership of the GNAT to hold firm their mandate and help save teachers from their woes.
Mr. Theophilus Adzanku, a member from the Matse area, said young members of the Association sought to play their roles towards its growth, and would impress upon leadership to deliver as expected.
“We the young ones of GNAT will not allow it to collapse. We will work hard to address the challenges,” he said.