General News of 2014-08-03

GNAT frustrated over teaching inputs shortage

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has expressed disappointment over acute lack of basic education inputs across the country, a phenomenon thwarting teachers’ efforts at delivering quality lessons.

The Association said although teachers were central to quality education delivery, provision of appropriate resources to achieve the national goal remained a mirage and upset teachers in their quest to deliver effective lessons in the classrooms.

Mr Thomas Baafi, GNAT Deputy General Secretary, expressed these frustrations at the closing session of GNAT and Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) collaborative in-service workshop for teachers in the Greater Accra Region on Friday.

He said teachers were frustrated over the lack of basic inputs, accommodation and non-payment of salaries and legitimate entitlements among other things.

Basic inputs like chalk, exercise books, teachers’ notebooks, registers and even syllabuses are lacking in many schools, he said, adding “give teachers what they need to work.”

“No sacrifice is too great to make to provide the needed education input that will make for effective teaching; teachers’ legitimate entitlements should be paid,” he said.

He said while GNAT took steps to augment teacher effectiveness and efficiency, the association called on the Government and the Ghana Education Service to provide “critical inputs” to foster effective lesson delivery.

He said recent developments in Ghana’s education sector seemed that policymakers conceivably “deny teachers and trainees of their legitimate entitlements as a way to make short term savings.”

“Probably they think that in the current financial climate cuts in education spending is the way to go but we believe very strongly that all that the policymakers are doing is storing up for future that will cost more,” he said.

Mr Baafi said Ghana needed to look at her priorities again and begin to sift the critical from the fanciful and give serious attention to the provision of basic education inputs as well as legitimate entitlements of teachers for quality education delivery towards national development goals.

Mr Paul Agyei Boakye, GNAT President, said: "Policymakers and educational authorities had created the enabling environment for absenteeism and other unwarranted teacher behaviours that do not augur well for the forward match of education in Ghana.

The GNAT/CTF collaboration workshop, an initiative started over 20 years ago, witnessed 297 teachers participating comprising 168 females and 129 males with resource persons from Canada and Ghana.

It was aimed at updating teachers’ knowledge and skills in the light of new development in teaching techniques and educational research, empower teachers to develop innovations in teaching practice as well as help weaker teachers to become more effective.

The training marked the end of the third of its kind in the year, following similar ones held in Western and Central regions.

Source: GNA
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