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17.08.2005 General News

Salaries of teachers could be improved


Koforidua, Aug 17, GNA - Prof Stephen Adei, the Rector of Ghana Institute of Management Public Administration (GIMPA), has said the country has the capacity to significantly improve the salaries of teachers, medical personnel and civil servants.

''It is also possible for the government to improve the management, teacher motivation and supervision of schools,'' he said.

Prof Adei was delivering an address on the "Economic Empowerment of Teachers and Quality Education in Ghana", at the opening of the Second Quadrennial Eastern Regional Conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) at Koforidua on Monday.

He said the biggest obstacles to the achievement of improved salaries for teachers and the achievement of quality education included the lack of "national development vision" which would put premium on human resources development that placed a demand on the services of teachers.

Prof Adei described the perennial tug-of-war regarding improved teachers salary and their pensions as "fruitless as government seems to say we cannot afford and teachers say we need more money". He said the claims by both bodies seemed legitimate but "the reality is that a win-win option is possible" and called for a break in such vicious cycle of disputes.

Prof Adei said if teachers were to be empowered, appointment of heads of pre-university and tertiary institutions should not be based on long service and academic qualifications alone, but also proven leadership qualities.

Ms Portia Molly Anafo, the Acting National President of GNAT, called on the government to prove its seriousness to support teachers who are patronizing the Distance Education programme with effect from the 2005/2006 academic year by initially absorbing all the cost relating to tuition.

She told the government not only to publicize the highlights of the report on the Presidential Commission on Pensions but also to issue a White Paper on the report to show the direction it wants to go. Ms Anafo said there should be an end to the situation whereby textbooks; learning and teaching materials often reached schools late and also the undue delays in the payment of the first salaries of new teachers and those going on retirement.

Mr Yaw Barimah, the Eastern Regional Minister, in a speech read on his behalf, appealed to teachers to desist from acts of immoral behaviour that could impede the smooth operation of formal education. He called for an end to the direct interference in the activities of teachers in schools and urged all those who have any grievance to route them through the appropriate structures established by the Ghana Education Service (GES).