General News of 2012-10-02

NAGRAT members worse-off under Single Spine

The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) on Monday expressed disappointment about the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).

This was according to Mr. Christian Addai-Poku, National President of NAGRAT at the 2012 NAGRAT Day celebration in Sunyani.

He said teachers had been cheated and discriminated against under the Structure and for the past two years since the implementation of the pay policy, the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) had punished teachers unduly by denying them their annual incremental credits.

The celebration attended by more than 4,000 graduate teachers throughout the country was on the theme: “The Seed for Responsible Education- the Value of the Teacher”.

Mr. Addai-Poku said the introduction of the Public Sector Joint Standing Negotiating Committee under organised labour was whittling away their right to bargain and gradually losing their nerves to fight for their rights.

“Under the policy, FWSC has not been able to come out with clear guidelines for the determination of market premium but has rather arrogated to itself the discretionary powers of giving market premium to their r favourites.”

Mr. Addai-Poku said the nation needed responsible education since responsible education transformed lives, curb immorality, reduced poverty and had positive influence in the future.

He said a nation without responsible education had little development and to achieve responsible education there must be a strong connection between the wellbeing of teachers and the integrity of any educational system.

The National President of NAGRAT appealed to teachers to renew their commitment to work for responsible education as they continue to ask for better pay and conditions of service, adding it would be irresponsible on their part to ignore professional conducts but must be able to work effectively to send strong message to the nation that they deserved better conditions of service.

Mr. Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister in a speech read on his behalf, expressed government’s appreciation to teachers for their struggle and dedication to their profession.

He said government acknowledged the pertinent roles teachers played in the education of the youth in the country since they had life influencing effects on students and most of those who had succeeded in life were through the good work of teachers.

Mr. Nyamekye-Marfo said teachers occupied unique and influential role in the Ghanaian society and had responsibility to act as agents of social change because they had the opportunity to use their status in the community to interact with parents to have positive influence on their children.

He urged teachers to be role models whose lives merit emulation and endeavour to make necessary efforts to play effective and efficient leadership roles in the society, and be obliged to serve wherever they were assigned and be ready to provide services to humanity.

Mr. Nyamekye-Marfo assured teachers of government’s loyalty in providing all the necessary logistics and infrastructure in educational institutions to promote teaching and learning.