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General News of Wednesday, 26 July 2017


Female teachers in deprived communities are sexually harassed - GNAT

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) is courting government’s support for female teachers in deprived communities to enable the teachers to continue to inspire the girl child in such communities.

According to GNAT, female teachers who accept postings to deprived communities are constantly harassed sexually and are exposed to poor living conditions making their lives miserable.

Addressing teachers at the end of a three-day gender in service training for some selected teachers in the Central Region, GNAT National Coordinator for Gender, Helena Awurusah called on government and the corporate world to support such teachers.

This she believes will enable them to inspire the girl child and also address the needs and challenges militating against the girl-child in the deprived communities.

“If you are a female teacher posted to a deprived community, they give you a room with no lock, so that in the night the landlord can enter surreptitiously, creep into your bed and attempt to harass the female teachers.

"It happens often. It is a difficult situation the female teachers find themselves. No light, no toilet facility, no changing rooms. I know what I am talking about. I have been in such deprived communities before,” she emphasised.

Mrs Awurusah is called for some support for such female teachers to make them comfortable in order to empower the communities in which they find themselves, especially, the girl child.

“We want to empower the female teachers who teach in the deprived areas. We want to empower them professionally, economically and even politically. We want to empower them so they can empower the communities in which they teach,” she added.

According to her, the training given to the female teachers at the three-day training is expected to equip them with the needed lobbying skills and also afford them the opportunity to learn how to draw action plans to become project focal persons for their respective communities.

General Secretary of GNAT, David Ofori Acheampong, said empowering women was one of the priorities of GNAT and called on female teachers to avail themselves for leadership training.

He said providing quality education was not the sole responsibility of teachers but a collaborative effort from all stakeholders including the Government and the communities where the schools were located.

“It is heart-warming to know that GNAT is an equal opportunity organisation. We want our teachers to defy the odds to avail themselves of leadership positions both locally and nationally,” he intimated.

Through the GNAT/ Canadian Teachers Federation collaboration, many teachers had been awarded scholarships to upgrade their professional skills and commended the CTF for its continued support, he said.

David Ofori Acheampong called on the participants to share their experiences with their colleagues and community leaders to transform the society.

The Regional Secretary of GNAT, William Abedi Boadu, called on the Ghana Education Service to support the GNAT Nkabom Project to help give teachers the needed motivation to teach in rural communities.

A member of the Canadian Teachers Federation (CTF) and the facilitator, Carla Peterson, described the Project as “very significant” in creating educational opportunities for girl-children in the project communities.

She expressed satisfaction about the readiness of the participants to act as agents of change to enhance girl-child education in their respective localities.

The training was organised by GNAT with support from the Canadian Teachers Federation (CTF), under its special gender project dubbed; “Gender-Nkabom”.