Teachers and other workers have been advised not to rely and contribute solely to the SNNIT Pension Scheme towards their retirement.
The Upper East Regional Chairman of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Mr. Paul Apanga gave the advice at a meeting to run off a three-day workshop organized for some Schools Representative of GNAT in some selected district in the Region.
It was aimed at equipping the participants with the requisite tools to become Ambassadors of GNAT by championing the activities of the Association at the District levels.
Mr. Apanga explained that the SNNIT Pension Scheme was nothing to write home about and could therefore not cater for the retiree let alone to talk about his family.
He therefore advised teachers and workers who rely solely on the SNNIT contributions towards their retirement to invest in other viable and reliable Insurance companies, especially the teachers' fund to support them after retirement.
He advised teachers, especially the young ones to start at early stages in preparations towards their retirement age since that was the best way to prepare for retirement and not to wait only to rely on their Pension Scheme adding, “the Pension cannot be used to prepare for retirement.”
He appealed to teachers to avail themselves of the various opportunities being created to build the human resource development base to upgrade themselves.
Ms Patricia Afebia, a member of the Region GNAT executive entreated the school representative to explain the aims, objectives and functions of GNAT, its positive entitlements to enable the Association to grow.
He stressed the need for effective communication on the parts of the school representatives, school management team, teachers, school children, community members among others, saying that lack of communication could lead to a break-down of the system.
She appealed to teachers to constantly upgrade themselves by attending seminars and workshops and noted that certificates issued at the end of such workshop were beneficial to the teacher as they could assist in their promotion.
Ms. Afebia explained that majority of teachers have been able to go through their promotion interview from training and certificates obtained at regular courses attended.
Mr. Linus Coffie Attey, the Regional GNAT Secretary urged the school representative of GNAT to put into practice the knowledge acquired for the entire objectives of GNAT to be realized.
A resource person, Mr. Kwamena Jacob Anderson urged the teachers to ensure that members of GNAT lived up to expectation by discharging their duties effectively to win the confidence of the public.
Participants were taken through topics, including Present Structure of GNAT, The Role and functions of school representatives, Meeting Skills , Communication Skills, GNAT service Members, Labour Law and how it Impacts on GNAT, Data collection as an aid to School Representatives.
Others were GNAT Finances, Collective Bargaining, Negotiations Skills, and the Handling of labour issues.
The Course Prefect, Mr. Salifu Kundu Zoore, on behalf of his colleagues thanked GNAT for the Programme and said they had learnt a lot from the workshop but asked that it should be organized constantly and be extended to other Districts in the Region.
Participants were presented with certificates at the end of the function.