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General News of Monday, 5 April 2021

Source: 3 News

Lack of textbooks in schools creating a class society among students – GNAT

President of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) Ms Philippa Larsen has lamented the lack of textbooks and other materials or resources to enhance teaching and learning in schools.

The GNAT president is troubled and surprised that Ghana Education Service (GES) after 1 to 2years of changing the school curriculum hasn’t been able to supply the approved textbooks.

She said that for curriculum change it must come with its entire curriculum needed materials for easy, smooth and effect transition.

She noted that training for Junior High School teachers for them to be able to implement the new curriculum hasn’t come on whilst textbooks for teachers to put into practice what they have been trained for have not been supplied.

Ms Larsen speaking in a phone interview with Kwame Tutu host of Yen Sempa morning show on Onua Fm on Wednesday 31st March stressed that the situation is gradually creating what she has described as class society among school children.

She explained that the situation is as well widening the gap between the rich and poor where parents with sound financial backgrounds are able to purchase the approved textbooks for their children whilst students from poor homes become penniless because the parents are not able to afford them the books.

She reiterated that If teachers are not provided with the textbooks and other requisite learning materials to teach then the government only encourages what is called class society among students because a child from a rich home would be provided with the books whilst those from poor homes suffer.

“Why is it that for the past 2 years the books we require to teach are not provided, we the teachers could do our research and teach but the children could not get the books to read and understand let alone work on their home assignments and gradually we will come out with class society in the country”.

We are told the textbooks are for the learners, now the question is; is it that we don’t have the welfare of the learners in the basic schools at heart she quizzed?

Ms Larsen thus stated that these are the challenges that hinders the country’s progress in education because if the child has a copy of the textbook and the teacher makes a reference it is easier for the child to follow and learn.

Welfare of teachers

Ms Larsen briefly on welfare of teachers expressed disappointment in the government for always disregarding GNAT members after involving them in policy-making as stakeholders but rather neglect them in its implementation.

She revealed that the majority of GNAT members are not living a decent and comfortable life and the situation gets worse when they go on retirement.

We have reports of a teacher who went to the bank and after realizing the amount he has been given in his account as a retirement package collapsed and died instantly.

A teacher after teaching for about 25 to 30 years and beyond receives a little over 3,000 Ghana cedis as a retirement benefit and how do you expect such people to give off their best in serving the country she asked.

But in all these she described the teaching profession as a real call where she demanded teachers to give off their best irrespective of the situation.

Ms Larsen thus indicated that teachers are not only concerned about salaries and allowances but are of much concern about how the government would play its role in enhancing teaching and learning.

She said GNAT is hopeful that the ministry would ensure that the teaching profession becomes the most attractive profession in the country based on the assurances the minister of Education Dr. Yaw Adutwum gave them during their 90th anniversary on Tuesday, March 30th.

She disclosed that the minister has promised to create a desk for GNAT in his office to help expedite actions to resolve issues regarding the welfare of teachers.

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