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General News of Monday, 12 October 2015

Source: GNA

GES Director calls for strong teacher unions

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Mr Paul Apanga, a former Northern Regional Director of Education has called for stronger and vibrant teacher unions in the country to effectively mobilize teachers to provide good quality education for children.

He said it was only through quality education that extreme poverty and hunger, among other things, could be eradicated whilst a strong teacher union could help to protect and promote the interests of teachers to impart knowledge.

Mr Apanga made the call in Walewale in the West Mamprusi district, at weekend, during the Northern Regional celebration of the World Teachers’ Day, where some teachers were rewarded for their meritorious service.

The celebration was on the theme: “Empowering Teachers, Building Sustainable Societies”, and each of the award winners took away table top fridges, a citation and cash prizes.

Mr Apanga said without quality education, the universal primary education could not be achieved saying, “Child mortality, maternal health, gender equality and empowerment of women, HIV, malaria and other diseases can be curtailed through quality education”.

He said strong and committed teacher unions were needed to work towards improving the teaching profession by adopting innovative methods to make the profession more attractive, and stressed the need for teachers to collaborate with government to improve conditions of service.

Mr David Wuni, East Mamprusi District Chief Executive (DCE) stressed the importance of the teacher in nation building and assured that government would not relent in its efforts of pursuing pragmatic policies that will ensure the development of teachers.

He said government had also approved funds for the construction of classroom projects, teachers’ accommodation and other ancillary projects under the NDC government and would be rolled out to achieve affordable, accessible and quality education.

He appealed to teachers to always use the negotiation table to address their grievances instead of resorting to industrial unrest and assured that issues of teachers’ arrears, transfer grants and vehicle maintenance allowances would soon be addressed.

Mr Abdulai Baba Yussif, Northern Regional Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) appealed to government to immediately pay teachers their transfer grants and vehicle maintenance allowance to prevent its members from embarking on a strike.

He said government must also reconsider giving the National Best Teacher an attractive package as was done previously and described this year’s prizes for teachers and best schools as not encouraging, which needed a second look.

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