By Frank Amponsah
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has pledged his government’s commitment to settling all outstanding teacher allowances that have been accrued between 2013 and 2016 by close of March, 2019.
He said government is no more accruing teachers allowance and that, government is putting in place measures to ensure that this situation does not reoccur.
The accrued allowance include travel allowances, transfer grants, and overtime allowances.
Speaking at the commissioning of the reconstructed Bediako Conference Hall at the headquarters of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) in Accra yesterday, the President averred that the government would clear all arrears owed teachers and improve their conditions and welfare in addition to the 10 percent increase in the basic salaries of teachers.
He commended GNAT for collaborating with the government to improve the welfare of teachers.
According to President Akufo Addo, the investment in teachers had proven to be the most important determinant of the success of all modern and successful nations worldwide.
“As in Ghana, also to make a success of our nation, we must pay attention to teachers. It is only a crop of well trained, well-motivated teachers that can help deliver the educated and skilled work force required to transform Ghana,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo also added that government was working alongside key stakeholders to develop a comprehensive teacher policy based on UNESCO benchmark to enhance the lot of our teachers.
He said” This is as part of the strategic plan to attain the SDG 4 which demands an inclusive, equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities”.
He said in line with the policy were teacher recruitment and retrenchment, teacher education, pre-service and in-service, deployment, career structure, teacher employment and working conditions, teacher reward and remuneration, among others
“Government is pursuing reforms including pre-tertiary curricular reforms, teacher education curricular reform, mainstreaming technical and vocational education to transform education delivery systems to meet the needs of the 21st century demands and produce skilled and confident workforce to drive the nation’s agenda,” he maintained.
He therefore entreated the various teacher associations to give the government the needed support to enable it improve the standard of the profession.
“Our collective goal should be to build a new Ghanaian civilization where prosperity and development are underpinned by creativity, innovation, hard work, honesty, integrity, and fellow feeling. GNAT should be frontline actors in this noble course,” he said.
Upon the assumption of office of the current management of GNAT, both management and the National Council saw the need to refurbish the conference hall as well as the restaurant and bar inclusive.
On her part, the newly-elected President of GNAT, Philippa Larsen, said the Association will continue to liaise with the Ministry of Education to weed out unqualified teachers as a way of enhancing the image of the teaching profession.
According to her she will ensure that the processes leading up to the certification of qualified teachers in Ghana will be adhered to by the Association saying that the Ghanaian teacher needs the support and respect from all so as to be able to deliver the best.
“We will get the right people who are teachers in order to enhance the proper image of the teaching profession, and this will make our certification as professionals smooth”.
The face-lift witnessed by the Bediako Conference hall has raised its seating capacity from 400 to over 1,100.