Teachers Hit Streets Again
ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES in Kumasi, the Ashanti regional capital, came to a complete halt yesterday, as teachers in the metropolis deserted the classrooms and demonstrated in protest against the continuous stay in office of both the executives of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the National Association of Graduate Teachers (GNAT).
Dressed in red, the aggrieved teachers converged on the Children's Park in large numbers at about 8am.
The teachers, who travelled from various parts of the Ashanti region and beyond to participate in the demonstration, sang and danced whilst chanting war songs.
With strict surveillance from the Ashanti regional police command, the teachers walked through the Amakom roundabout to the Asafo interchange before ending at the Ashanti regional education directorate.
The teachers, who held various placards with inscriptions such as 'Adanusa Gaddafi Step Down,' 'Rotten Heads Cannot Lead Active Bodies,' 'Whether We Go In Peace Or Pieces,' 'All Gone Be Gone,' among others, presented a petition to the regional director of education.
The three-page petition was presented to the regional director of education for onward transmission to the leadership of GNAT and NAGRAT as well as the Ghana Trades' Union Congress (GTUC).
In the petition, the teachers said they were shocked that in spite of the 72-hour ultimatum they gave their leaders to vacate their respective positions, they were still undeservedly clinching on to power.
They considered the action of the executives of the two bodies as an affront to the sensibilities and intelligence of the members of the noble profession, hence their decision to publicly demonstrate against their continuous stay in office.
The teachers stated that they had come to the realization that their leaders were responsible for the unfair treatment in their migration onto the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) which led to their recent strike action.
They contended that their leadership had shown gross incompetence in negotiating for better conditions of service for their members over the years.
They accused their leaders of being in bed with government to further impoverish them, explaining that while members were wailing over their salaries, the leadership was defending the chicken feed paid to teachers and even went ahead to thank the government for that chicken feed.
They claimed that available figures indicated that GNAT and NAGRAT received GH¢2,350,000 yearly as a result of monthly deductions of a minimum of GH¢10 per teacher.
'Several calls on the leadership to review the constitutions of the two bodies have fallen on deaf ears which gives us a cause to believe that the move was a calculated attempt by the leadership to entrench themselves in power,' the teachers observed.
Contending that proceeds from GNAT investments such as hostels, credit mall among others, were shrouded in secrecy, the teachers wondered why the General Secretary of GNAT, Irene Adanusa, should stay in office for all these years.
Indicating that there was no effective communication between the leadership and members, the troubled teachers observed that because GNAT and NAGRAT executives were not teachers in the classroom, they did not understand the plight of the classroom teacher.
According to them, the leadership of the two bodies should not enter into any negotiation with the government on behalf of teachers. They called for an emergency national delegates' conference to review the constitution and elect new executives.
They said failure by the leadership to heed the above resolution would force the members of the two bodies to call for emergency national delegates' conference after 21 days as enshrined in the constitution.
The teachers promised to work assiduously to dissolve the executives of the two associations as per Article 42 of the GNAT constitution and Article 15, clause (4) of NAGRAT constitution.
From Morgan Owusu, Kumasi