General News Fri, 17 Oct 2003

Teachers Threaten To Quit SSNIT

Teachers in the country will stop contributing to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Pension Scheme, if SSNIT money is taken to part-finance the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Mr Kwame Amo–Dako, President, Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) who issued the threat in Accra, said GNAT "rejects any attempt by government" to make any incursion into workers’ contribution to SSNIT.

Answering a reporter’s question after addressing a press conference to mark World Teachers’ Day , which fell on Sunday, October 5, Mr. Amo-Dako recalled that four years ago, GNAT threatened to opt out of the SSNIT pension scheme, if something was not done about it.

Following that threat, he said GNAT has been negotiating to put teachers on the CAP 30 Pension Scheme, and queried: "How can we then agree to further deductions?"

Mr Amo-Dako stated that the distortions in salary levels of teachers and irregular payment of allowances and disbursement of grants to schools have negatively impacted on the teaching and learning process.

Earlier in his press conference text, Mr. Amo Dako advocated that the awards given to Best Teachers should be the same at the local, regional, and national levels because all teachers have the same job description.

"If the award is a car or a house it should be given to all", he said. He further said the national award should be given to a group of teachers because teachers work in a team and therefore must not be honoured alone. He said the right of every child around the world to have a basic education is necessary and that there is the need to implement policy of integration of early childhood education programmes into the public basic education sector. He further said teachers need to be empowered and better equipped to deliver better quality education adding "education must go hand in hand with improving the status of the teacher or we will be missing the boat".

Source: Heritage