The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has called on the Controller and Accountant-General's Department (CAGD) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to ensure that arrears owed teachers are paid before the end of November this year.
The call followed the intervention by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the Public Services Commission (PSC) to suspend the implementation of the Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS) for educational sector workers.
The GNAT has further urged the GES to expedite action in resolving the many challenges that arose out of the implementation of the HRMIS in order not to resurrect any labour unrest in the educational sector.
At a press briefing to launch the GNAT Week/World Teachers Day celebration in Accra yesterday, the President of GNAT, Ms Philippa Larsen, said: “GNAT wishes to sincerely thank His Excellency the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for his timely intervention in the issue of the implementation of the HRMIS by the PSC.”
Last year, the PSC began the migration of public sector workers, including workers of the GES, onto a new management software called the HRMIS.
The decision, which resulted in the piling up of arrears and non-payment of newly recruited teachers, generated agitation among GES employees, who called for the scrapping of the software.
Later, GNAT, the Coalition of Concerned Teachers-Ghana (CCT-Ghana) and the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) joined in the agitation and served notice on the National Labour Commission that a series of actions would be taken if the HRMIS in the educational sector was not withdrawn by September 20, 2019.
“The intervention by the President led to the CAGD reverting its software to the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Database Two (IPPD 2) in dealing with educational sector workers,” Ms Larsen stated.
Ghana Teacher Prize
This year’s national durbar to reward hardworking teachers, dubbed the “Ghana Teacher Prize”, will be held at the Paa Joe Stadium of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi.
At the durbar, on the theme: “Young teachers: The future of the profession”, the country will celebrate the outstanding performance by teachers, culminating in the crowning of the National Outstanding Teacher; first and second runners-up, as well as other award winners.
Ms Larsen said the theme was appropriate, for the fact that there was the need for appropriate measures to ensure continuity in the “noble profession of teaching, since without knowledge, no one can exist in this world”.
Focus on the theme
She said the theme focused on the young teacher who, without doubt, was the future of the teaching profession.
She, therefore, urged the GES to create a congenial atmosphere in all public schools to give young teachers the opportunity to showcase what they could offer.
She explained that frequent interactions with young teachers had indicated that they more frequently sought feedback on their teaching than their older colleagues.
That, she said, placed a responsibility on heads of educational institutions to make it possible to get optimum output from young teachers.
Giving a line up of activities to mark the World Teachers Day, Mrs Larsen said this year’s celebration was the 19th since GNAT instituted the week-long event, which is observed throughout the country.
She said in the various districts and regions, there would be symposia, clean-up exercises and games.
“In Kumasi, for instance, where the national durbar is going to be held, our members are going to make a donation to the Kumasi Children’s Home and the Kumasi Central Prison to extend our love and care to our children in the home and the inmates of the prison,” she said.
Ms Larsen said as part of its annual support for 50 needy schoolchildren in the host region, GNAT was presenting their schools with supplementary readers and simplified English books to be kept in their libraries for the use of the pupils.
“We do this to help whip up the interest of the pupils in reading which, we know, has abated over the years,” she said, adding that school uniforms, schoolbags, trainers, textbooks and stationery were added to serve as motivation to go to school.