Government respects teachers - Ankomah

Fri, 9 Feb 2007 Source: GNA

Wassa Akropong (W/R) Feb. 9, GNA- Papa Owusu Ankomah, Minister of Education, Science and Sports, on Tuesday said the recent rumpus between the government and the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) over remuneration should not be taken to mean that the government has no respect for teachers.

He said The Government was not treating teachers with contempt and was appreciative of the sacrifices being made by teachers.

Papa Ankomah was addressing students and staff of the Amenfiman Senior Secondary School and the Asankrangwa Senior Secondary School at separate meetings at Wassa Akropong and Asankrangwa respectively, during a three-day duty tour of the Western Region.

He said it was unfortunate that members of association withdrew their services during the rumpus due to misunderstanding. Papa Ankomah said the government did not intend to indefinitely withhold the salaries of members of NAGRAT for October last year because of their strike action.

He explained that the government was prepared to pay the October salaries but there must be understanding and goodwill from both sides to enable government and NAGRAT to forge ahead. The Minister said it was not the government's desire to unduly penalise teachers who should exhaust the process of dialogue.

Papa Owusu Ankomah, Minister of Education, Science and Sports, urged teachers to continue to work hard because the whole country would be at risk without their services.

He said the Government was supporting the Distance Education Programme but was not bearing the full cost.

Papa Ankomah said he would soon come out with a comprehensive statement on the programme to encourage teachers to upgrade their academic qualification while at post.

The Minister said the GES received about 5,000 applications for study leave on "Non-teaching subjects".

Papa Ankomah said the government was not cheapening the teaching profession by the appointment of teaching assistants under the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP).

He said the teaching assistants would undergo training by the GES and would work mainly in deprived areas where they were no teachers. Papa Ankomah said Amenfiman Senior Secondary School would be considered in the next consignment of allocation of buses for schools. He stressed that it was because of a special appeal made by Kasapreko Kwame Bassanyin, Omanhene of Wassa Amenfi Traditional Area and the headmistress of the school, Miss Baba Adarquah.

Papa Ankomah also promised to donate an electricity generating plant to Asankrangwa Senior Secondary School following an appeal by the Headmaster, Mr. Joseph Bagbin.

Source: GNA