GNAT in the news

World Teachers’ Day: Celebrating teachers for sacrifices

5th Oct 2022    |    Source: Graphic Online

Yesterday, I read an inscription on a moving vehicle: “If you can read this, thank a teacher”. Initially, I ignored it but upon a sober reflection I realized the depth of the inscription and it kept me thinking the role of the teacher in my life.

Today, October 5, the focus is on the role of the teacher in impacting knowledge. The day, globally set aside every year to celebrate teachers for their selfless and dedicated service to mankind.

Ghana Teacher Prize

The day is always marked with the award of high performing teachers known as the Ghana Teacher Prize.

All roads lead to the University for Development Studies (UDS), Tamale as the climax of the celebration rolls out at the multi-purpose hall of the university.

With President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to be ably supported by the Education Minister and the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES) Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum and Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa respectively as well as all those who matter in the educational sector, the focus will be, the one to annex the title of the Most Outstanding Teacher from Ebenezer Kojo Otoo, the 2021 winner.

Aside the ultimate, there are other prizes up for grab including the first and second runner ups, the Best Teacher in Leadership and Administration, first and second runner ups; Best Non-Teaching staff, first and second runner ups; Best Early Grade Teacher; Best Primary School Teacher; Best JHS Teacher and Best SHS/TVET Teacher.

The Ghana Teacher Prize was rebranded in 2017 from the Best Teacher Award to conform to continental and global standards.

The National Teaching Council, the government agency responsible for regulating the teaching profession was tasked to lead the reform and rebrand of the award scheme.

Global Teacher Prize

Since the rebranding to place the Ghanaian teacher at the global level, there has been a lot of achievement by the Ghanaian teacher at the international and global levels.

At the Global Teacher Prize started in 2014, Ghana has been consistent bracing all ought to be part of the top 50 best teachers globally until 2021, when a Mathematics teacher from Achimota Senior High, Greater Accra, Evans Odei was selected among the top 10 best teachers in the world.

Even though a Ghanaian teacher is yet to pick the $1 million prize, their performance at the highest level is something to be reckoned with.

Apart from the Global Teacher, Ghanaian teachers have also made a mark in the Africa Union Teacher Prize.

These developments have lifted the image of the teaching profession to the level that, today, many African countries are taking inspiration from Ghana and instituting national awards for teachers.

The Best Teacher Award, now Teacher Prize was established to boost morale of teachers and to show that their sacrifices have been recognized.

Indeed, gone are the days when it used to be said that the reward of the teacher is in heaven. Now, the reward is right here on earth as winners of the award will be smiling home with handsome prizes.

To be fair, all teachers are winners and it is just that all of them cannot be awarded but it is a recognition an indication that we appreciate their effort.

Condition of teachers

The role of the teacher no doubt, is crucial in the overall development of a country and that was why in 1993, there was a global call for governments to make conscious and deliberate effort to improve the conditions of work of teachers. This call came at the heels of the 1990 Education for All Declaration in Jomtien Thailand.

United Nations Education Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in collaboration with the Education International (EI) in 1994 declared October 5, each year as the World Teachers’ Day. This was in commemoration of the 1966 UNESCO /ILO declaration on the status of teachers.

In 1995, Ghana decided to institute an award scheme to commemorate the day and to celebrate Ghanaian teachers for the incredible sacrifices they make to educate the younger generation.

The major objective of the scheme is to motivate teachers for higher performance and restore the respect the profession should enjoy.

It further aims at retaining qualified teachers and improves their work performance and overall effectiveness in the classroom as was eloquently captured by Vice President Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia at the 2019 GTP, when he said, “there cannot be quality education in Ghana without quality teachers” hence the need to treat teachers well.

Expectation

As Ghana joins the rest of the world to honour teachers, it is expected that teachers will acknowledge this gesture by reciprocating it with more dedication to their duty as role models to the next generation.

It is a fact that some teachers are working under trying conditions especially in the rural areas and it is important that a little more attention is channeled to improving the state of such teachers through scholarships and other motivations.

Even as we acknowledge the trying moments of such teachers, the generality is that children, who unfortunately find themselves in such areas are in an unimaginable disadvantage as they are unable to compete with their urban colleagues.

In such areas, the commitment of teachers to their duties leaves much be desired as rural children are unable to compete with their urban counterparts.

So, as we celebrate the teachers and urge for their working conditions to improve, we also expect that teachers up their game and not toy with the future of the children entrust in them.

Criteria

Briefing Graphic Online, the Public Relations Officer of the NTC Dennis Osei-Owusu explained that the prize was opened to all professionally trained and licensed teachers currently working at the pre-tertiary education space (both private and public), who might have taught for at least five years.

He said applications for the award were judged based on a rigorous set of criteria, to select an extraordinary teacher who made an outstanding contribution to the teaching profession.

Mr Osei-Owusu said the prize underlined the importance of the teaching profession and symbolised the fact that teachers throughout the world deserved to be recognised and celebrated.

Tomorrow is World Teachers’ Day

 

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisations (UNESCO) has instituted every October 5 as

World Teachers’ Day to honour and celebrate teachers around the globe.

The aim is to focus on, “assessing, appreciating and improving educators around the world”.

It also provides opportunity to discuss issues relating to teachers and teaching.

The Day, established in 1994, commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 International Labour

Organisation/UNESCO recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which is a standard-setting instrument that

addresses the status and situations of teachers around the world.

This recommendation outlines standards relating to education personnel policy, recruitment, and initial training as

well as the continuing education of teachers, their employment, and working conditions.

This year’s theme is: “The transformation of education begins with teachers.”

Ghana will commemorate the Day at Tamale, Northern Region, on Wednesday, October 05, 2022.

Mr Peter Tetteh Korda, Public Relations Officer, Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), in an interview

with the Ghana News Agency, said the Association in September launched the GNAT Week and the World Teachers Day

celebration in Tamale, Northern Region.

He said the Day would celebrate how teachers were transforming education and reflect on the support

they needed to fully deploy their talent.

Mr Korda said GNAT had earlier organised a two-day symposium from Monday, October 3, 2022 to

Tuesday October 4, 2022 in Tamale as part of activities to mark the Day.

Public sector workers get 15% Cost of Living Allowance

The government has approved a 15% Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) on the base pay for

public sector workers effective 1st July 2022.

The various worker unions, which include the four teacher unions, the Ghana Medical

Association (GMA), and the Public Sector Workers Union (PSWU), among others, demanded

the payment of 20% of their basic salaries as Cost-of-Living Allowance (COLA) due to the

current economic situation in the country.

 

Both sides reached a conclusion on the 15% COLA with all industrial actions and threats

to be called off immediately and members of the aforementioned union groups to return to work.

The government, represented by Minister for Finance (MoF); Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister for

Employment and Labour Relations (MELR); Ignatius Baffour Awuah, and Chief Executive

Officer of Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC); Benjamin Arthur signed on behalf

the government while the Secretary of the Trade Union Congress, Dr Anthony Yaw Baah and

the President of Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association signed on behalf

of Organised Labour

 

Priscilla Nimako, ISD

Strike Alert: Nurses and Midwives join teachers in demand for COLA

The Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association, GRNMA, has also joined teacher Unions to call for payment of twenty percent Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).

According to the Association, the plight of Ghanaian nurses and midwives is worsening each day due to rapid increases in the prices of goods and services across the country.

Speaking on News and Current Affairs Programme, ‘Behind the News’ on UNIIQ FM, the President of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association,

Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo refuted claims that the Association is riding on the back of similar claims by the four striking teacher unions.

She said GRNMA operates within organized labour and increasing cost of living also affects them.

She added that, government has been given enough notification about the worsening living conditions of nurses.

However, the Association does not intend to embark on an industrial action.

 

Teacher unions declare nationwide indefinite strike over COLA

Four teacher unions have declared a nationwide strike over government’s inability to meet the deadline for their demands for the

payment of Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).

This follows the expiration of a June 30 deadline the unions gave government.

The unions are the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT),

Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union (TEWU) and Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT).

At a joint press conference, by the education unions on the allowance, the teacher groups expressed disappointment at government’s failure to heed their calls.

General Secretary of GNAT, Thomas Musah, who read the statement, disclosed that all their calls have fallen on deaf ears.

“We have been compelled under the current circumstances to publicly communicate to Ghanaians on our intention to  go on

strike having gone passed the June 30 deadline we gave government for the payment of Cost of Living Allowance. Consequently,

we have decided to embark on strike from today,  Monday, July 4, 2022. By this, we are informing the general public that we are

withdrawing services in all the pre-tertiary education institutions. This includes teaching and non-teaching staff. “   

Leadership of the four teacher unions has thus directed their members to withdraw their services with immediate effect

after declaring an indefinite strike.

President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers, Angel Carbonu says the decision to strike is because they have been pushed to the wall.

The teachers are fighting for the payment of between 20% and 30% of their salaries as a Cost of Living Allowance.

The allowance according to the teachers will cushion them on the back of current economic conditions and the worsening plight of teachers.

Some stakeholders have said, even though the call for COLA is legitimate, teacher unions should use the opportunity to fight for a

permanent solution to the challenges facing teachers.

Government had assured it was going to reach an agreement with the leadership of teacher unions, but that is yet to happen.

Pay cost of living allowances or face our wrath – GNAT tells government

Source: Derrick Ekow Sam, Myjoyonline   

  30 June 2022 1:53pm
 

President of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Isaac Owusu, says the Association will stand by its June 30 ultimatum for government to pay

the Cost of Living Allowances (COLA) to workers.

According to him, the leaders of GNAT will not fail their members by extending the deadline given to government.

He said this while speaking at the GNAT Investment Forum held at the GNAT Hall on Wednesday June 29.

“We are still standing by our demand and the deadline that we have given. We cannot fail our members,” he said.

The General Secretary of GNAT, Thomas Musah, on his part said the general income situation of all workers in the country should be looked at.

He indicated that most workers earn low basic salary which eventually affect the quantum of the pension benefits they are given when in retirement.

Mr Musah said “It has become very necessary that the issues of income in this country should be looked at. We cannot run away from the issue of basic salary.

“That is why we are organizing this forum to look at what can be done to ensure that when workers are retiring they are better of.

“There is one thing that we have been asking over the years, at least, if for nothing at all, when the worker is retiring he should be able to afford a two bedroom house.”

Speaking at the same event, the Director-General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang said the scheme is

the best pension scheme workers can get anywhere.

He explained that the management of SSNIT has been carrying out indexation to meet the rising rate of inflation. 

This, he said, is part of the reasons the scheme is best for workers.

“SSNIT undertakes indexation every year and the indexation matches inflation. SSNIT is aware of that and so we compensate for inflation,“ he said.

“I will urge people not to throw the baby out with the bad water. The narrative is that SSNIT is not good, people connived with their employers not to pay their

SSNIT but the SSNIT scheme is the best that you can ever get anywhere else as far as pensions is concerned. If you don’t join to contribute you are harming yourself,” he added.

He further indicated that management is going to rollout a programme to educate the people on the need to join SSNIT.

“We are going to rollout programmes to get people to come and join SSNIT because it is the best thing they can do for themselves,” he said.

 

 

 

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