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24.08.2005 Regional News

Volta Region GNAT Conference opens


Ho, Aug. 24, GNA - Mr. Joseph Kwaku Nayan , Deputy Volta Regional Minister on Wednesday said the Government would absorb fees of teachers enrolled to participate in the Distance Education Programme. He said in addition, the Government was providing adequate school infrastructure to enhance teaching and learning at all levels of education.

Mr. Nayan announced this at the opening of the Second Quadrennial Volta Regional Delegates Conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) at Ho.

The theme for the Conference is: "Education, The Educator And Poverty Reduction."

Mr. Nayan said, in the Government's determination to reduce poverty and create wealth, education was critical in the developmental process. "With the effective acquisition of knowledge and skills by the citizenry, they could gainfully be employed to contribute to the development of the nation," he added.

Mr Nayan said the crucial role teachers played in imparting knowledge and skills in the educational system could not be undermined, therefore, the Government's decision to improve upon the conditions of service of teachers to motivate them to work harder. He called on the leadership of GNAT to educate its members on the need to use dialogue as a more productive, effective and cost-saving means of resolving disputes with their employers rather than resorting to threats and strike actions.

Ms Portia Molly Anafo, Acting National President of GNAT, in an address read for her, called on the Ministry of Education and Sports to review the Distance Education Programme to make it teacher-friendly. She said to ensure more teachers update their skills with modern techniques in teaching and learning the programme had to be reviewed. Ms Anafo expressed concern about the delay in making the interim report submitted by the Pension Commission public for debate "because issues of pensions remained critical agenda in the working lives of the public sector".

She complained about poor conditions of service and called on the Government to help improve on them. Dr Yao Graham, Coordinator of Third World Network- Africa said improvement in the living standard of teachers was closely connected with improvement in the public sector. Dr Graham called on GNAT to promote social equity among its members.

In a resolution, the delegates called on the Government to make more funds available to the Ghana Education Service (GES) to pay legitimate entitlements of teachers and provide accommodation for teachers in deprived communities to attract teachers to these communities.