Teachers salary arrears: 10,000 to be paid next two weeks

Ms. Philippa Larsen, addressing the participants

Ms. Philippa Larsen, addressing the participants

About 10,000 teachers are to be paid arrears owed them by government within the next two weeks.

This follows discussions between the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the government in addressing delays in the payments of the arrears.

National President of GNAT, Ms. Philippa Larsen indicated that the Controller and Accountant General Department (CAGD) was to commence processing of the payments preferably from tomorrow, after the Department completes work on salaries for September, this year.

She was speaking in Accra yesterday at the launch of this year’s GNAT Week and World Teacher’s Day celebrations.

On the theme, ‘The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher’, the event was scheduled to be climaxed at a national event of October 5 this year.

Addressing other concerns in the educational sector, Ms. Larsen called on government, to as a matter of urgency, speed up the recruitment of its promised 8,000 additional teachers to support the implementation of the double-track system in some of the public senior high schools (SHS) under the Free SHS programme.

Currently, she said there were not enough teachers to stand the pressure that was likely to accompany the system, adding, that it would be impossible for the existing number of teachers to handle the high number of students.

She noted that GNAT was concerned about the rush with which the Teacher Licensure examination was conducted without enough stakeholder consultation and sensitisation of teachers who were to partake in the examination.

Describing it as unfair, Ms. Larsen said it was inappropriate for the National Teaching Council (NTC) to deny the examinees of the form the examination was going to take and any other related information that would guide the preparations of the teachers toward the examination.

“No teacher is afraid to write any examination but we consider it unfair to deny the examinees what to expect prior to the examination. Just as examinations like the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) have syllabuses guiding both teachers and students, the NTC should have come out with the form the examination was going to take and any other relevant information to get the teachers well informed and prepared for the examination,” she stated.

As part of this year’s celebrations, the National President said the Nursery Block of the Manhean Community Primary School in the Tema municipality would be given a facelift with the installation of doors, windows, ceiling and cementing of the dusty floors to provide a comfortable environment for both teachers and pupils.

Additionally, the Huada D/A Basic School in the Shai-Osudoku District and Dorgobom D/A Basic in the Ada West District would be presented with reading books for their libraries to help promote reading among the pupils.

Some other activities lined up for the celebrations, she said included radio discussions on the global theme of the World Teacher’s Day,  Inter District Quiz competitions, Inter Local fun games, health screening, clean-up exercises, route marches, symposia and presentations on new educational policies, among others.

Mr. David Ofori Acheampong, General Secretary of GNAT, said the day was to highlight the important role teachers play in developing nations across the globe and the recognition and appropriate compensation due them.

He said GNAT would continue to engage policy makers and the government on issues that would help in improving the teaching profession and the welfare of teachers as a whole.

By Claude Nyarko Adams and Abeduwaa Lucy Appiah

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