GNAT in the news

Three(3) Teacher Unions Make Demands On Govt

Three pre-tertiary education labour unions have given the government up to the end of September this year to address a number of issues affecting their members as well as teaching and learning in schools.
They said anything short of that would cause them to advise themselves.

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT-GH) said the lack of textbooks, overcrowded classrooms, delay in payment of capitation grant, increase in workload and the non-payment of responsibility allowances were some of the issues.

They further mentioned teacher promotion, refusal to appoint teachers in offices, transfer of teachers in Special schools, signing of performance contract without the involvement of unions as other concerns.

“We the teacher unions are hereby serving notice that if by the close of September 2021 all these issues are not resolved in full by the employer, we will have no option but to advise ourselves in the best interest of our members within the framework of our collective agreement and the applicable laws of Ghana,” the General Secretary of GNAT, Mr Thomas Musah, said on behalf of the unions at a news conference in Accra on Tuesday.


Mr Musah indicated that in spite of the progress the country had made in improving access to education, there were still challenges inhibiting thousands, adding that the authorities had failed to provide teachers and pupils with modern aids to teaching and learning.

“There are no textbooks, school environment is not conducive for learning, classes are overcrowded, the payment of capitation grant and administrative resources are delayed, among others,” he said.

The poor quality of education, he said, could be seen in the results of students in first cycle schools in the country.

Mr Musah said the hours teachers were required to work per day and per week should be determined by the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the teacher unions as enjoined by the collective agreement.


Regrettably, he said, the GES had not only increased the workload of teachers, but also failed to compensate the affected teachers.

Again, he said, the slow pace of the GES system in upgrading teachers who financed themselves to acquire degrees and those who had completed their study leave with pay was worrying and demoralising.

“It is pertinent to note that even with the teachers who have been upgraded, they were not paid on the effective or substantive dates they were upgraded. The disturbing issue is that some were given three months arrears, while the majority received nothing,” he emphasised.

Moreover, Mr Musah said, there were teachers who held various positions of responsibility who were entitled to responsibility allowances, but their allowances had been stopped after they were promoted to other ranks.

“Despite several efforts by the teachers and the teacher unions, a greater number of the teachers have not had their allowances restored,” he said.

He mentioned other benefits that were yet to be honoured as car maintenance allowance, rent advance, allowance for teachers in deprived areas and additional duty allowance.

He expressed concern over the transfer of teachers in Special schools, and charged the GES to suspend the action.

He also called on the GES to suspend the signing of performance contracts with heads of institutions until it was discussed with the unions.



Covid-19: GNAT calls for more innovation to teaching and learning

General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) Thomas Musah has stressed on the need for stakeholders to continuously devise innovative ways of giving access to quality education irrespective of the prevailing circumstances especially in times of emergencies and pandemics.

“Covid-19 has seriously exposed us in so many ways. If Covid had not hit us, some of the things we were doing, we never would have been doing them. Things like Zoom meetings and online engagements. And one critical area is how we have been exposed with regards to access to education. The key thing here is what we can do in terms of emergencies or pandemics particularly when it comes to education.

“…because education cannot wait in times of emergencies as the consequences of a long break in teaching and learning would be dire.”

He further explained: “If you look at the work that the Ghana Statistical Services did in 2020, the analysis show that children who are four years old are over 600,000. Now, if you make the mistake and say let’s wait small and close schools down for about two or three years because there is an emergency or pandemic and so the children should stay home, by the time schools reopen, the children would be about 7 years and that will be the end. You will not get them again. Some of them will be lost to child labour and other areas. And it will be disastrous to have such a huge number of the children being lost”.

The General Secretary was speaking to Connect FM on the sidelines of a three-day hybrid Emergency Remote Teaching training for selected Junior and Senior High school teachers in the Western Region.

In partnership with the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Center for National Distance Learning and Open Schooling (CENDLOS), UNESCO through the Korean government is supporting 51 Junior and Senior High School teachers to acquire digital skills in remote teaching to prepare them for future shocks and disruptions to teaching and learning.

Mr. Musah noted that it is imperative that efforts to prepare teachers for future shocks and disruptions to teaching and learning be stepped up.

“… that irrespective of the time, irrespective of the situation, irrespective of the condition or period we find ourselves in, the child should still be able to have access to not just any education but quality education. Because we are getting to a stage where we need to get some kind of arrangement where it will be possible to teach and learn without any disruption no matter what or we risk losing the human resource to shape and guide our development agenda.”

Earlier, Director of CENDLOS Gyamfi Adwumbour encouraged teachers to embrace online teaching and learning to ensure continuity of learning beyond Covid-19 disruptions.

UNESCO Representative to Ghana Abdourahamane Diallo also underscored the need for teachers in Ghana to acquire digital skills to improve learning outcomes thereby contributing to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.

“This training is going to help me a lot especially in integrating ICT in content delivery. This training is not only about Covid but even after Covid, we can actually create sites for our schools. We have been introduced to a site that is free, so schools that do not have funding are privileged to create their own site,” a participant said.

Another participant lamented: “In Ghana data is expensive. This training though very good comes with some challenges. We have to get laptop, good mobile phone and data. So, we plead that when we go back and start implementing what we have been taught government will help in providing data for us to deliver well”.


By Eric Yaw Adjei|Connect FM||Ghana

Rastafarian brouhaha: School rules must be obeyed; if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it – Thomas Musah

The General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Thomas Musah, has intimated that school rules must be obeyed, therefore the students must follow the laid down rules by the school.

He explained that the rules and regulations of the school are in good shape, thus “The justices of our courts, parliamentarians,… everybody has gone through. So once the system is not broken, why fix it?

“We think the status quo is good in helping children. So our position is that if the rules are not broken, don’t fix it,” he said.

His comment comes on the back of the issues surrounding two first-year Rastafarian students who were rejected by the Authorities of Achimota Senior High School on the account of their dreadlocked hair.

Mr Musah speaking in an interview on Joy News’ AM Show said “school authorities shouldn’t just stand up and grant exemptions to people without any record.”


“Let’s be mindful here, if any child, for any reason should be treated out of the rule, the parents must report it, it is the duty of the parent to bring sane to the attention of the management of the school with evidence and I repeat with evidence and whiles that is done, that can be kept on the person’s record in case anybody comes to challenge the School, the School can produce that particular record as the basis on which the person is treated the way he is treated and not because the person is granted a particular exemption from the rule because of any other reason.


“The reason evidence is provided is because of article 17 of the constitution so that nobody can come and claim why someone has been treated a particular way and the other not,” he added.  

According to Mr Musah, GNAT would respect and abide by the Court’s judgement, should the issue go to Court.

“I believe the Supreme Court will look at it, look at the merit and demerit and let us all be mindful of the effect of this particular thing on future generations and the upbringing and training of our children in our schools. Whatever the Supreme Court would say, we will abide by it,” he indicated.  

       24 March 2021 12:03pm

Governance system in schools must be strengthened — GNAT

By: Emmanuel Bonney


The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has stated that the decision by the Achimota School to maintain its stand in the matter regarding the two Rastafarian students will help strengthen governance systems in school administration in the country.

It said schools would not be run on the whims and caprices of anybody or group of people based on their beliefs and traditions.

The General Secretary of GNAT, Mr Thomas Musah, said that in an interview with the Daily Graphic. He has charged teachers across the country, therefore, to enforce school rules and regulations to the letter since they are in the best interest of students.

Legal document

"School rules and regulations must be enforced to the letter since they are in the best interest of students and smooth running of schools.

"School rules and regulations are legal documents and ought to be respected," he said.

Last Friday, the authorities at the Achimota School refused to admit two students who were posted to the school by the Computer School Placement System (CSSPS) because the school could not admit students in dreadlocks.

Social media has since then been awash with arguments for and against the school’s decision, when the father of one of the students took to Facebook to protest the school's decision.

However, later that evening, the GES directed the school to admit the students.

Last Monday, the Old Achimotan Association (OAA) also known as Akora, and the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) disagreed with the GES directive  to the school asking it to admit the two Rastafarian students.

The two, therefore, asked the GES to rescind its directive to Achimota School and make sure that students obeyed the school’s rules and regulations.

They contended that even though it was the practice of the GES to issue directives to schools, the current situation was in breach of school governance systems and regulation.

At a meeting with the management of the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the parents of one of the students in Accra, the headmistress of the school, Mrs Majorie Affenyi, maintained that the students had not been denied admission to the school, rather she said, they were asked to cut their dreadlocks in conformity with the school’s rules.


Mr Musah said the situation at the Achimota School had come to its attention following the hullabaloo it had generated.


“We are saying that every student must obey school rules and regulations because they are part of the school governance system. Normally, there are exceptions to some of the rules when children come with special conditions.

“There are some who do not eat pepper, salt and many other things. For that we normally look at how best to deal with them and expect full disclosure from parents and guardians in order to manage the conditions of the children very well,” he said.

That, Mr Musah said, meant that the school was being accommodating based upon facts and evidence.

In the case of the Achimota School issue, he said, the father of the student was virtually imposing his belief on his son, adding that “If you believe in Rastafarianism and because your child is under your care you want to impose that on him and for the school to bend its rules, I think that should not be accepted”.

He commended the management of the Achimota School for maintaining its stand.

“In fact, the school authorities deserve commendation and this is something that we must encourage,” he said.


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 has 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 text books 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.


By Maxwell Otoo||Ghana

GNAT intends to roll out housing scheme

June 23, 2021

The Ghana National Association (GNAT) intends rolling-out a Housing Plan from early next year once approved by its members.

Economist, Kwame Pianim told the 2021 GNAT Investment Forum convened in Accra that with over 200,000 members across the country, “teachers have the chance to own 2-3 bedroom housing units at any location of their choice” if they choose to invest through the Teachers Fund.

The GNAT Investment Forum was put together to deliberate on the Association’s investment portfolios over the last 20 years and how to equally diversify contributions of teachers to mutually benefit them even after retirement.

Mr. Pianim used the conference to propose to GNAT “how through collective contributions and investments in insurance and housing, members can own these housing using across the country” by choosing specific locations where groups of them could retire to in the future.

He acknowledged the “difficulties current National Executives could encounter in getting a buy-in from members” of GNAT in adopting the comprehensive housing plan; but advised, that “the time has come for the Association to make initial sacrifices, like was done in establishing the Teachers Fund, to afford teachers” the opportunities to own homes by the time they retire.

He proposed the establishment of a GNAT Retirement Home Scheme for the purposes of the initiative.

“Hopefully, the housing scheme should be able to sell homes to teachers built by independent developers for not more than GHC200,000” Mr. Pianim added.

President of GNAT Mrs. Phillipa Larsen reiterated the need for “members to support the National Executives and Administrators to ensure these laudable initiatives come to fruition” to benefit teachers in their retirement.

She said “efforts have been made to prudently invest all contributions of GNAT members to give opportunities not only to teachers but also to ordinary Ghanaians” who also get employment and thousands more in the value chain.

General Secretary Thomas Musah assured members about the safety and financial efficiency in investments undertaken by GNAT.

Apart the Teachers Fund, he said “other firms invested in include TF Financial Services, Credit Mall Ltd, TF Properties Ltd and recently Unique Insurance Company Ltd, Sweden Ghana Medical Center and Aviance Cargo Ltd”.

Deputy Education Minister, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour represented the Minister of Education at the GNAT Investment Forum.