GNAT demands ‘cost of living allowance’

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has asked the government to expedite action to release the Cost of Living Allowance as soon as practicable in view of the rising cost of living in the country.

The Association said the recent inflation rate of 23.6 per cent as announced by the Government Statistician has eroded the long negotiated 7 per cent salary increase for the public sector workers.

Mr Isaac Owusu, President of GNAT said this in a speech read on his behalf at the launch of Global Action Week for Education (GAWE) in Accra yesterday.

The GAWE is being organised by Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) with a series of events under the theme; “Building forward a resilient pre-tertiary education through inclusive planning.”

The GNECC as a member of the Global Campaign for Education has the mandate to organise Global Action Week every year to examine issues pertaining to education retrogression.

This year’s events would examine funding to education for marginalised group, inclusive and gender-sensitive education planning and promote digitisation that would enhance access to equal learning opportunities for students with special educational needs.

Mr Owusu said inclusivity in education delivery should be encouraged to benefit persons with special needs, therefore adequate provision should be made for payments of their stipends timeously.

“The Inclusive Education Policy must be implemented to the latter and to increase the Inclusive Education budget from 0.3 per cent to 2.0 per cent,” he said.

He said the current state of affairs and inadequate provision of funds to resource education delivery in Ghana was worsening, adding that the Capitation Grant and School Grant had been in arrears since 2019 to date.

Mr Owusu said headteachers together with their staff, mobilised resources on their own for effective and efficient running of the Public Basic Schools, saying,” we still have some public schools under trees along the countryside while the shift system is still run in peri-urban communities.”

He said the Education Reforms witnessed the novelty of development and implementation of the Standard Base Curriculum and the Common Core which was originally up to the Senior High School (SHS) One, but currently limited to (Junior High School (JHS) three has come with its challenges.

Mr Owusu said though the teachers received the teachers resource pack, no single textbook had been developed for the learner leaving the production of textbook to businessmen.

“Please let us be reminded that education is not a commodity and must not be for sale for the highest bidder or privatised since it is for public good and be enjoyed by all,” he said.

He said the GNECC was expecting the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance to make provision for the disbursement of capitation grant to run the schools.

BY LAWRENCE MARKWEI

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