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30.04.2005 Regional News

GNAT Reform

By GNA

Ho, April 30, GNA - Ms Portia Anafo, National President of the Ghana National Association Teachers (GNAT), has called on government to provide GNAT and other partners in education with further explanation on plans for the implementation of the report of the Education Reform Review Committee.

She said there was the need for objective analysis and wider participation in strategising to move the education sector nearer the targets set for the Millennium Development Goals. Ms Anafo was briefing the media on Friday as part of a two-day 2005 first-quarter review meeting of the Association in Ho. The meeting deliberated on the direction of the country's education policy.

Ms Anafo expressed reservations about what she said was a vague treatment in the report of issues on incentives and motivation to retain teachers in both urban and rural schools. She noted that continuing education for teachers was a very essential ingredient for quality performance, remarking that the recent demonstration by sections of aggrieved teachers who were denied study leave with pay was worrying.

Ms Anafo said it was an undeniable fact that teachers would continue to leave the classroom in pursuit of further studies even if they were not granted study leave with pay because training and retraining was an important aspect of the teaching profession. She pleaded with the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service to consider granting study leave to teachers who had been on various campuses for more than a semester without pay.

Ms Anafo said it would be impractical to ask them to return to their stations and abandon the programmes they had started. The President also requested the government to take a critical look at the operations of the Distance Education Programme, with the view to making it more attractive to teachers to curb the phenomenal increase in teachers leaving the classroom to pursue further studies.

She suggested that government should consider establishing centres in all districts to make the programme more accessible to all teachers and provide grant to those who pursue distant education courses. Ms Anafo also called on government to subject the issue of handing over schools to various religious bodies to dispassionate discussions to ensure that it did not regret the consequences of any hasty decision.

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