THE immediate past President of the Ghana National Association of Teachers, Kwame Amo Dako, has appealed to NAGRAT to see eye to eye with the government to find a lasting solution to their grievances instead of sticking to the uncompromising stand they have taken. He has also appealed to UTAG, GNAT, POTAG and NAGRAT to unite and come under an umbrella organisation to harness their potential for rapid national development.
Delivering the key note address at the Second Quadrennial delegates conference of GNAT in the East Akim District last Friday, Mr Amo Dako noted that an umbrella organisation would be able to articulate their specific group interests whilst being mindful of the exigencies of inter-group harmony within the profession as a whole and of the wider imperative of sustainable national development. Such an organisation, he said, would command national and international respect and thus enhance the image of the teaching profession in the country.
Mr Amo Dako said Ghana needed an efficient human resource to create wealth, reduce poverty, promote good governance and raise living standards. The former GNAT President noted that no country could meet her human resource development challenges without the teacher. He however expressed the belief that one of the reasons why teaching did not command the respect and recognition of society was the fact that people were not sure whether it was a profession or just an occupation. He said the teaching profession in Ghana could not, unfortunately, be regarded as a true profession like medicine, law and accounting, explaining that GNAT had no legislative power to issue a licence or certificate to any teacher to practice as such.
“In contrast, a trained lawyer cannot practise or appear before a judge or become a member of the Bar Association unless he is called to the Bar. It is time the status of the teacher is raised and GNAT transformed through legislation into a true professional body with a professional certificate and regulatory functions and powers.”
Mr Amo Dako said teacher motivation was very important to enable the teacher contribute more effectively to the task of human capital formation, declaring that motivation was the driving force that moved teachers and other workers to work very hard. Therefore, he contended, the needs of teachers must engage the serious attention of government, declaring that it was the teacher, more than any other professional, whose services contributed more concretely to the promotion of social, ethnic and religious harmony, political tolerance and stability, good governance and economic growth, national prosperity and poverty alleviation.
E V Asihene, East Akim District Chief Executive, appealed to NAGRAT to reconsider their stand and dialogue with the government to resolve the issue. Mr Asihene expressed concern at recent developments in the country and said, “Democracy is too expensive” cautioning, “Let us be very careful in this country, otherwise, what we are witnessing can create more problems for us.” He announced that in the East Akim District, the District Assembly had put up 20 new schools and provided over 4,000 pieces of furniture to almost all schools in the district. 22 schools had also been provided with pre-school learning materials, he added.
Mr Asihene urged Ghanaians to eschew the habit of reading political meaning into action.
Richard Equity Sagodo, Deputy Eastern Regional GNAT Secretary also appealed to NAGRAT to go back to the classroom to pave the way for negotiations, declaring, “we have left behind the stages of militancy.”