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17.05.2007 General News

Teachers play a critical role in the formative years of children - Cardinal Turkson

Teachers play a critical role in the formative years of children - Cardinal Turkson

Peter Cardinal Appiah Turkson, Catholic Archbishop of Cape Coast has called on Ghanaians not to take the critical role of teachers in the formative of years of children for granted.

"I am always exited with things that has to do with teaching and development of children in the country," he added.

Cardinal Turkson made the observation at the inauguration of the 1.2 billion cedis National Secretariat of National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) at Achimota a suburb of Accra.

The seven pioneer national officers of the association were also honoured during the inauguration with citation, cash and refrigerators.

A Toyota Hilux double cabin pickup and a Nissan Patrol acquired by the association to enhance its outreach programmes in the regions was also inaugurated.

Cardinal Turkson appealed to the association to be considerate in their demands and collaborate with stakeholders to ensure peace and harmony in the country's education sector.

Maulvi Wahab Adam, Ameer and Missionary of Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission and Chairman of Ghana Conference for Religion and Peace (GCRP) commended teachers for their immense contribution to the socio-economic development of the country.

He re-counted the critical role GCRP played to ensure harmony among teachers when members of NAGRAT embarked on a national strike action to demand increases in salaries and better condition of service.

"As religious people when offered to mediate in the impasse between NAGRAT and Government we have to approach the matter with honesty and sincerity," he added.

Maulvi Adam said without developing that trust between NAGRAT and GCRP there was no way they could find a common ground and even invited to participate in the inauguration of the secretariat.

He called for continued dialogue between authorities in education and NAGRAT and in addition involve them in the decision making process.

"Whatever sacrifices we are making, we must realise that others also sacrificed to make us what we are today," he added.

Kwame Alorvi, President of NAGRAT reiterated the association's preparedness to cooperate with authorities in education and other stakeholders to ensure the development of education in Ghana.

He said cooperation from the association required reciprocal gestures from authorities in education adding; "marginalisation of the group must stop."

Mr Alorvi cited an instance where the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment and Ministry of Public Sector Reform completely shut their doors to NAGRAT on the ongoing discussions on public sector pay reform.

"We know a lot of meetings and fora have been organized without any courtesy being extended to NAGRAT," he added.

Source: GNA