The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has appealed to the Ghana Education Service (GES) to ensure that only qualified teachers are posted to teach in the kindergarten and the lower primary levels.
That, the association believes, would help to build a solid and sound educational foundation for the pupils.
Ms. Philippa Larsen, acting President of GNAT, who made the appeal at the launch of this year’s World Teachers Day in Accra, said the association was very much concerned about laying a solid foundation for pupils from the Kindergarten level.
This year’s celebration of World Teachers Day, which would be observed nationally at the Sunyani Jubilee Park in the Brong Ahafo Region today, has the theme, “Valuing teachers, improving their status.”
Ms. Larsen, lauded the theme, saying it highlights the decline in teacher status and condition over the last few years.
“This unfortunate situation has arisen mainly due to sub-standard teacher preparation programmes and recruitment of unqualified personnel; infringements on academic freedom and professional autonomy; serious violations of teachers’ human and trade union rights; and poor salaries and working condition,” she said.
She said those negative trends must be reversed “if we are serious about placing value on teachers and improving their status.”
She, therefore, called on the membership to conduct themselves professionally in the discharge of their duties as well as their community lives.
On re-training programmes, Ms. Larsen said a total of 1,282 teachers benefitted from an in-service training programme at three centres during the year.
She said the programme had the objective to sharpen the pedagogical skills of the members in key subject areas to ensure improved delivery in their schools.
“As an association, we believe that using part of our revenue to periodically re-train our members is in the right direction although we are very much aware of the fact that it is the duty of the Ghana Education Service which is the teacher’s employer,” she said.
Mr. David Ofori Acheampong, GNAT General Secretary, said honouring teachers should not only come from the employers but students, parents and the society at large since they all have a responsibility to honour teachers.