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20.10.2008 Education

Upper East branch of GNAT issues communiqué on educational reforms

By gna

The Upper East Regional branch of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) at the weekend called on government to embark on regular in service training programmes for all categories of teachers.

A communiqué issued at the end of a two-day workshop held at Zebilla said this would keep them in tune with the current needs of teachers under the new reforms particularly in the area of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

The workshop was aimed at examining the Educational Reforms after one year of its implementation.

The communiqué, signed by Simon Akudugu, Course Prefect, commended the government for upgrading the Teacher Training Institutions for professional efficiency and providing transportation and other infrastructure for the institutions and directorates.

It noted that under the government policy in implementing the "Baah-Wiredu Computer per Pupil Project”, the teacher should be considered the first to handle the teaching and learning of ICT.

The Communiqué explained that as a way of motivating teachers, Ghana Education Service (GES) and the government should as a matter of urgency approve the collective agreement of teachers and conditions of service in line with the labour Act 2003, Act 651.

It said to overcome the problem of the shortage of teachers, intake into Teacher Training Institutions should be increased as some colleges had the capacity to absorb more students than they presently admitted.

The communiqué said the government should institute "Teacher in Distance Areas Allowance," to entice teachers to deprived areas and to revisit the Annual Salary Allowance Scheme as an incentive package for teachers.

It said the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports (MOESS) should accelerate the training of teachers for Training Vocations, Education and Training (TVET) programmes to augment the number of teachers in the area.

The communiqué said the proposed External Inspectorate Division, which shall be incorporated into MOESS under the reform, should be manned by trained personnel to curtail conflicts of roles with other internal school supervisors.

It advocated for the provision of motorbikes for supervision at a subsidised price and the regular supply of fuel and payment of maintenance allowance should be ensured for effective monitoring and supervision.

It stressed the need for government to expedite action on the provision of textbooks and reference books particularly in the new subject areas with the timely distribution of logistics to schools to make the programme successful.

The communiqué asked government to expedite action on the "T.A. Bediako Pension Report" to make it operational as early as possible to ensure the safety and stability of teachers' salaries.

Mr Linus Cofie Attey, Upper East Regional Secretary of GNAT, said there was the need to prepare teachers by giving them the necessary information, logistics and motivation as they were the pivot around which the educational reforms propelled.

He said GNAT in collaboration with Action Aid International, Ghana, had come up with programmes to address the challenges confronting the reforms.

Madam Florence Bobi, Bawku Municipal Director of Education, urged the participants to see the workshop as the trainer of trainees course to equip them with in-depth knowledge on the new educational reforms to enhance their work.

She asked them to organize sensitization-training session for other teachers as well as members of Parent Teachers Associations and School Management Committees.

Participants were made up of Circuit Supervisors and Head of Basic Schools in the Bawku Municipality.