GNAT Shows Appreciation To Asantehene

The Ghana National Association of Teachers ( GNAT ) has expressed deep appreciation to the Asantehene , Otumfuo Osei Tutu II , for rewarding 200 selected teachers.

The teachers, from some deprived communities in Ashanti , Brong -Ahafo , Eastern and Volta Regions were rewarded for their hard work and commitment to duty.

A press statement issued in Kumasi and signed by Mr Abraham K. Bonsu, Ashanti Regional Secretary of Association , said the Asantehene ’ s initiative would undoubtedly motivate and inspire many teachers to accept postings to remote and difficult areas, where their services were most needed.

It said the teachers union was particularly excited by the spirit behind the awards.

GNAT appealed to other stakeholders and institutions to follow the example of the Asante King to help promote the country’s education.

Each award winner was presented with solar lamp and charger, wall clock with the Asantehene ’s portrait , insecticide treated mosquito net, wellington boots, cutlass and certificate, at a ceremony held at the Manhyia Palace. They also shared among themselves an amount of GH¢50,000.

Parents Must Demand Accountability From Teachers

Parents and students have been called upon to come together to form coalitions to demand accountability from teachers on their performance in the teaching pupils in schools.

Dr . Leslie Casely -Hayford , a Principal Development Consultant with Associates for Change , a Canadian development organisation, made the call during the fourth Northern Ghana Education Forum in Tamale.

The forum , which was organised by the Northern Network for Education Development ( NNED) , was on the theme “Inclusive education – an indispensable tool for achieving education for all.

It was attended by stakeholders in education drawn from the three regions in northern Ghana .

Expatiating on the need for parents and students to come together to demand accountability from teachers , Dr Casely -Hayford noted that teacher unions over the years had been advocating better conditions of service for their members without any mechanism being put in place to ensure that they delivered the desired results after their demands had been met.

She disclosed that in 2007, a World Bank report entitled ” Education in Ghana : Improving equity , efficiency , and accountability in education delivery, ” stated that teachers in basic schools in the country spent only two and half hours teaching their pupils daily.

The same report also indicated that teachers spent 20 to 30 per cent of their work days on personal engagements rather than teaching, she stated.

She said the situation was as a result of ineffective monitoring and supervision within the Ghana Education Service ( GES ) , adding that circuit supervisors who were supposed to supervise teachers were themselves teachers who might find it difficult to sanction their colleagues.

Dr Casely -Hayford said the report indicated that there was a high level of teacher indiscipline in Ghana and asked for the situation to be corrected.

She , therefore, advocated the formation of a third and independent force that would ensure that teachers spent the required eight hours in schools teaching their pupils.

The Consultant also stated that despite interventions by governments, non -governmental organisations ( NGOs ) and other stakeholders could increase access to education ; many children were still out of school , with majority of them found in northern Ghana.

She commended School for Life and Alliance for Change in Education , both NGOs in the Northern Region for developing models to mobilise out of school children and make them have access to education.

An official of the Ministry of Education , Mr . Ernest Otoo , also made a presentation on government policy provisions for inclusive and special education and indicated that the government had its strategic goal on inclusive and special education.

The goal, he explained , was to provide education for excluded children , including those who were physically and , or mentally impaired or disabled , slow or fast learners , orphans , young mothers and street children.

Others included children from, deprived areas, slums and victims of poverty.
Source: Daily Graphic

Biology Teacher In Police Grips After Taking Nude Pictures of Students

A biology teacher in Mampong Akuapim School for the deaf is in police custody for taking nude pictures of three of his students.

Seth Affum Danquah had lured the students into a building outside school premises, stripped them naked before taking the pictures.

Two residents who saw the teacher carry out his unbridled pornography effected a citizen’ s arrest and handed him over to the Mampong police.

Police Commander for Akuapim Mampong , ASP Agyenim Boateng confirmed the incident in an interview with Joy News’ Dzifah Bampoh.

According to him , the camera used in the teacher ’s escapade was retrieved with graphic pictures of the nude students.

“After we screened the camera we really realised that he took some obscene pictures of the three ladies showing part of their nakedness , upwards, specifically, their breasts and other obscene pictures , ” he said.

He added the suspect admitted taking the nude photographs of the students but did not explain why and to what effect.

Affum Danquah has been charged with “unlawful entry ” and in “possession of obscene pictures” and will be arraigned before the Mampong Magistrate Court on Friday.

Assistant Headmaster of the school , Emmanuel Apernu told Joy News the victims are all students “ writing their final paper . ”

He said the students only obeyed instructions from the teacher . He could not tell what the real intentions of the teacher were.

Meanwhile the Ghana Education Service is contemplating dismissing the teacher if found guilty of the allegations.

Rosemond Blay, Head of Special Education at the service said the act by the teacher is criminal and is waiting for the police to take action.

He said the service will have no choice than to dismiss the teacher if he is found culpable.
Story by Nathan Gadugah /Myjoyonline .com /Ghana

Betty Mould Appeals To University Lecturers Over Delayed Arrears

Education Minister Betty Mould- Iddrisu is appealing to university teachers to exercise restraint as government works to pay the salaries owed them by Friday.

Last year , the teachers called off an over – a- month old strike after government promised to pay the salary arrears.

They have been agitating over delays in the payment , threatening to strike again.

But government promised their leaders at a meeting on Monday it will settle the arrears by close of this week.

Education Minister Betty Mould-Iddrisu told Joy News this should end the agitations . “ I think they were nervous because we hadn ’ t really tied the knots and finalized everything in cast iron, ” she said , adding , “we have been doing a lot of discussions and consultations behind doors … and we were able to negotiate the agreement in a common spirit of trying to move the process forward and bring peace and calm to the campuses, ” Mrs. Mould -Iddrisu explained .
Source: Joy News/ Myjoyoyonline. com /Ghana

Government To Convert Colleges of Education (Teacher Training Colleges) Into Tertiary Institutions

Government is instituting the necessary legal framework to make colleges of education operate as tertiary institutions.

In addition, facilities at the colleges are being upgraded. Dr Dominic Pealore , Director of Statistics , Research, Information Management and Public Relations at the Ministry of Education , announced this at the launch of the maiden National Teachers Forum ( NATEF ) in Accra on Wednesday.

The two -day forum to be held in September , this year is being organised by Open Learning Exchange ( OLE) Ghana , a teacher development oriented NGO.

It would be on the theme : ” Meeting the Direct Needs of the Job Market through Quality Education – The Role of the Professional Teacher . ” The forum would also examine activities of civil society organisations, the relationship between them , the donor community and other stakeholders in the teacher education industry.

Programmes lined up include television and radio discussions on teachers and education as well as articles on teacher education and a sponsored desk study of some activities on teachers in the country.

Dr Pealore commended personnel at the Teacher Education Division ( TED ) of the Ministry for their untiring efforts in the development of the needed policy for the colleges.

“I wish to commend TED for working on the teacher education professional development policy which would govern all activities within the teacher education landscape, ” he noted.

Dr Pealore pledged government ‘ s commitment to work with stakeholders to improve the working conditions of teachers.

He expressed appreciation to OLE Ghana for the initiative and urged stakeholders in teacher education to dispassionately explore innovative ways of developing dedicated and highly motivated teachers to deliver quality service.

“With demands of the markets constantly changing , education in the country will also have to change to reflect these changing demands, ” he said.

Professor Jophus Anamoah -Mensah , Chairman of NATEF lauded the contributions of teachers towards the country’s socio -economic development.

He cited inadequate motivation, lack of facilities to train more teachers, lack of refresher courses for teachers and lack of adequate classrooms as some of the challenges affecting the country ‘s educational system.

Professor Anamoah -Mensah, a Former Vice Chancellor of University of Education , Winneba , noted that NATEF would serve as a platform for teachers and stakeholders to deliberate dispassionately on issues concerning the welfare of teachers.

“It would seek to discuss important determinants on teacher education policies , what corporate Ghana expects from teachers and how responsive teacher training curriculum is to the demands of the job markets, ” he added.

Mr Kofi Essien, Programmes Director , OLE Ghana , extolled the importance of bringing together educational stakeholders to dispassionately explore innovative ways of improving the works and status of teachers.

He said the forum was aimed at producing inputs that would inform and contribute to policy formulation at all levels of teacher education , position teachers within the country ‘ s education and socio -economic system , and create a positive identity for the teacher , thus creating a ‘ new’ teacher.

Mr Essien noted that it would also provide a comprehensive report on ways of increasing the country’s teacher population without sacrificing innovations and quality.

“It would also provide documentation on strategies for continuous teacher professional development adapted to the needs of teachers and involving them as both planners and administrators of such in-service activities, ” he said.

CPP Calls For Policy Change In Basic Education Certificate Examination – (BECE)

The Convention Peoples Party ( CPP) on Wednesday called for a policy change in the Basic Education Certificate Examination ( BECE ) as a terminal point for basic school leavers.

The call was made by Mr Kojo Armah , CPP Shadow Cabinet Minister of Education , when speaking on the alternative policy vision on Education ; at the 15th in the series of “How The CPP Will Do It : Education ,” in Accra . “

The CPP’ s view is that the BECE as it stands now prematurely condemns a large percentage of our youth to the fringes or outer perimeters of national development as they are categorise as drop-outs because they could not make the required aggregates to enter secondary schools , yet have very little other windows open to them , ” he said.

On senior high school education , the CPP intended it to be an integral part of basic education to which all children should have equal access.

According to the CPP , BECE would be abolished as a terminal point but re -designed to become an integral part of a selection process to determine the next level of the child’ s education instead of a pass or fail option.

The CPP also outlined its policy for second cycle education , teacher training colleges , trade , vocational and technical schools , national youth employment programme, non -formal education , tertiary institutions and managing the gap between private and public schools.

Mr Armah said the CPP was determined to widen the frontiers of education for girls through increased affirmative action.

He pointed out that the party when given the opportunity to rule the country after Election 2012, would encourage higher institutions to place more emphasis on research , which must be seen as a necessary support to the nation’ s new age of industrialisation especially in the wake of Ghana ’s oil and gas production.

Teachers In Deprived Areas Motivated By Asantehene’s Honor

Teachers in deprived rural areas of Ghana say they feel motivated to continue serving in under -privileged communities after being honoured by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

The Otumfuo’ s Teachers and Educational Workers Awards scheme was instituted to provide incentive packages to teachers who work in rural communities and have excelled in their responsibilities.

200 awardees from 48 districts in the Ashanti, Eastern, Brong Ahafo and Volta regions were honoured at an ‘Awukudae’ durbar at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.

Some of the award winners who spoke to Luv News said they face challenges such as access to potable water, electricity, transportation and the apathy of some parents to send their children to school.

“If you look at the community and the kind of things around the place and you sacrifice to teach and you are honoured , you feel great ”, said Ernest Asamoah, an awardee from the Adansi North District , revealing that “the nearest town which you can access vehicle to the centre of the district is about nine miles [ away ] … and you have to walk this nine miles before you get [ a ] car to even attend a meeting.”

According to the Asantehene , Ghana owes a great deal of honour to teachers and other professionals who sacrifice the pleasure of living in urban communities to serve in deprived rural communities.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu observed that economic ventures in rural areas are key to national development , but regretted most rural communities are deprived with little or no access to amenities and infrastructure to promote a sustainable livelihood.

He opined that if there is any group in Ghana worthy of recognition and reward, it should be teachers in deprived communities.

“ In reviewing and analyzing the contributory factors that led to the decline in educational standards , one key factor was the lack of teachers , especially in the rural areas, and the poor conditions of service and motivation for teachers and educational workers”, Otumfuo noted in a statement.

He says the Promoting Partnerships with Traditional Authorities Project ( PPTAP ) , the Otumfuo Education Fund and the new Charity Foundation have been avenues to promote education from a holistic approach.

“Today , it is my pride and joy to appreciate and reward teachers and educational workers, especially those in deprived rural communities for giving off their best under very challenging conditions and also use this medium to entice others to take up teaching appointments in similar areas ”, the King stated.

Awardees received a special package to aid their stay and work in the communities and would be sharing 50 thousand Ghana cedi cash reward from the Otumfuo.
Story by Kofi Adu Domfeh/Luv FM /Ghana

Teaching Assistants Attend Training Workshop

Nkoranza South District Assembly in collaboration with the District Directorate of Education has organised a seven – day orientation workshop to equip 50 community education teaching assistants with relevant knowledge and skills in the discharge of their duties.

They were taken through topics including ; The Structure and Functions of the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service, The Education Strategic Plan for 2020 , The Roles and Responsibilities of Teaching Assistants, and The Ghana Education Service Code of Conduct.

The teaching assistants were also tutored on “The Methodologies of Teaching ” and “The Introduction of Basic School Curriculum”.

Mr Yaw Ntim -Korsah , Nkoranza South District Deputy Director of Education in-charge of Human Resource Management and Development , urged the teachers to be disciplined and endeavour to lead lives worthy of emulation in the communities.

He advised them to be punctual and to under – study their senior colleagues to improve their teaching methods so they would deliver to expectation.

The Deputy Director called on the teaching assistants to support community development programmes in their areas to win the respect and confidence of the people.

Mr Kwaku Amoah- Tutu, Assistant Director in – charge of Schools Inspection, called on head teachers to organize regular in-service training courses for their teachers to enable them to become abreast with required teaching methods.

He urged the teaching assistants to endeavour to improve on their academic levels to obtain professional jobs since their employment under the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) was a temporary one.

Mr Amoah-Tutu appealed to school management committees, traditional authorities and opinion leaders to support and encourage the teaching assistants to surmount their challenges.

Mr Smart Tommy Jones, Nkoranza South District Coordinator of the NYEP, commended the District Directorate of Education for its efforts towards the success of the workshop.

He urged the participants to put to practice the knowledge they had acquired to help improve the standard of education in the district.


There Goes My Teacher – Poem By Elorm Nunana Billy-Awittor

There goes my teacher,
The one who brought us up by hand,
His steps are as sure as Afadjato
And his movements as graceful as an eagle’s.
There he goes with his wonderful book
Smiling brightly and ready to serve.

There goes my teacher,
The mastermind,
His body beams radiant energy
And his mind floods with amazing knowledge.
There he goes, his chalk ever ready,
To the classroom
Where eager students await his impacting lessons.

There goes my teacher,
His ways much like the resolute farmer
Who patiently tends fertile and non -fertile soil alike.
He strives to enrich them with his wit and craft,
And plants the seeds that ’ll surely bloom.

There goes my teacher,
The skillful builder and master smith
Whose hardwork restores the nation’ s hopes.
There he goes laying bricks of discipline
Bonded together with the mortar of correction.
His sweat truly forges us
Into men and women of integrity.

There goes my teacher,
The humble one, the suffering one
Whose back is as solid as a mountain
Never aching for a minute.
There he goes lowering himself like steps
In great sacrifice, while others climb to glory.

There goes my teacher
The most disdained of all workers.
Yea, foolish youth call him “common chalk holder”
Yet his chalk builds their future,
Each stroke lays one more brick.

There goes my teacher
Though great yet a beggar
He begs not for favour or for waiver only for some of life’s little comforts:
a roof over the family’s head good food to keep body and soul in one piece good education for the children’ s tomorrow four wheels to end the drudgery of walking smashing bright kente for Sunday service a trip or two to cheer the family and enough to put away against retirement.
My teacher demands not paradise,
not even heaven Just enough comfort to live here on earth

There goes my teacher,
My good old teacher
His graceful steps now eroded by years of overwork and depressing pittance
Injustice now stares him blankly in the face
As the grave speedily beckons
There he goes full of the misery
That scares the young from ever holding chalk
Empty classrooms will soon foretell
The first signs of national gloom and doom
Gameli Adzaho

Concerned Teachers Coalition Group Reject 15% Pay Rise

Members of the Coalition of Concerned Teachers ( CCT) in the Eastern region have said that they will never accept the 15 percent increment in salaries since they see it as an insult to their dignity.

They have therefore advised all teachers to stay away from the classroom when public schools re – open on May 3 , as a protest against ‘ injustices’ in salary structures. “ We want to tell the president that 15percent is a big insult and we as members of Concerned Teachers want it to be deleted from our pay slips because we don ’ t need it , ” the national coordinator of the coalition , Norbert Gborgbortsi, said these when the leadership of the body addressed a press conference on developments of the Single Spine Salary Structure ( SSSS ) for teachers at Koforidua yesterday.

He said for instance , a teacher who took home a monthly salary of GH¢ 400 could not be satisfied with GH ¢60 as an increment in his salary because it was an insult.

He said what worsened matters was a comment allegedly made by a deputy Minister of Information, Baba Jamal , on Peace FM ’ s ‘ Kokrokoo ’ programme last Wednesday that teachers had kept quiet because they had got what they wanted from the government.

“We want to tell Hon Baba Jamal that we are not quiet because of the paltry 15percent his government has given to teachers ,” the Coalition of Concerned Teachers said.

Ako Forson , a member of the coalition who also addressed the press, said the group was very disappointed when leadership of the Ghana National Association of Teachers ( GNAT ) said GNAT did not have the right to do sector- wide bargaining but could only do centralized bargaining under the leadership of Ghana Trades Union Congress and Fair Wages and Salary Commission.

He added that GNAT was now shifting the blame to Trades Union Congress, Fair Wages and Salary Commission and so these bodies must seriously come clean on the SSSS.

According to him , GNAT , in its recent press conference, said it had proposed other allowances and would negotiate with its members . “We concerned teachers are saying that GNAT could not defend the professional allowance which has been rationalized and harmonized , so what shows that it can defend clothing, risk and rent allowances, ” he said, stressing that it was the agitations by teachers that helped to restore the retention premium.

The concerned teachers therefore expressed a vote of no confidence in the leadership of GNAT and said they would do all in their power to force the leadership out of office.

“Leaders of GNAT are our employees. We use our monies to pay them and if we are not satisfied with their services, then they should immediately leave . ”

According to the concerned teachers , they would use the Commission on Human Rights and Administration Justice ( CHRAJ ) to fight their leaders and remove them from office.
Source: Daily Guide/ Ghana

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