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General News of Sunday, 20 May 2007

Source: GNA

GNAT commends Govt

Agona Swedru, May 20, GNA- The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has commended the Government for promptly setting up a special Sub-Committee to investigate the causes of the delayed payment of salaries to some of its members.

The Association has appealed to the Sub-Committee to work effectively to clear the backlog of salary arrears by the end of June this year to bring relief to the affected teachers.

Mr. Joseph Kwaku Adjei, National President of the Association, made the appeal at the weekend at an Editors' Forum at Agona Swedru, in the Central Region. The forum, the first in the history of the 75-year-old Association, was to deepen the relationship between editors and senior journalists and the leadership of the GNAT, to mutually enhance to development of education.

"We want to sit down with those who really matter in the scheme of things so far as media organisations are concerned to iron out any differences that might exist so that we could operate in an atmosphere of mutual respect and industrial harmony", Mr Adjei said. Mr Adjei reminded the Government to come clearly with specific details of the programme of teacher motivation covering areas as personal emolument, mortgage schemes and health safety since teachers constitute the most critical group to implement the educational reform launched last April. The GNAT said Government should modify the present residential accommodation of teacher-trainees from IN-IN- OUT to IN-IN-IN-OUT to enable the trainees remain on campus for three years.

The Association said the three years would deepen the academic knowledge of the trainees and pursue education foundation courses while getting predisposed to practical teaching.

The fourth year will be used to do supervision or teaching practice and also sitting for the National Teaching Council professional examination, and thereafter to be licensed. The GNAT urged the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports to reconsider its decision to abolish Study Leave With Pay with effect from 2011 as that would have the potential of serving as a disincentive fro brilliant students who would wish to select teaching as a profession.

Mrs Irene Duncan-Adanusa, General Secretary of the GNAT, underlined strong collaboration between the media and the Association to push forward the national education development agenda. She said the GNAT and the Ghana Journalists' Association (GJA) should team up to exchange information and knowledge.

Mr. John Nyoagbe, Deputy General Secretary in- Charge of Professional Development of the GNAT announced that the Division was pursuing a five year development plan from 2007 to 2011, with priority areas on recruitment and orientation of new teachers, pre-service and in-service training of members, distance education and constant monitoring of nation education issues. He warned against any deliberate efforts to reduce Government provision for public education on the basis that private educational facilities were available.

"In applying the concept of public-private educational partnership, we look forward to a healthy and fruitful collaboration that would provide education more efficiently and effectively with equal access," Mr Nyoagbe said.

Mr Affail Monney, Vice President of the GJA, called on Ghanaians to massively support the new education reforms to make it a success. He however, expressed concern about the rising cost of education, and said it should not be a social filter between the rich and the poor. "We are worried about the prohibitive cost of education. Education should not be a social filter to separate the rich from the poor, " Mr. Monney said.