Teachers at a basic level in Ghana have been confronted with many challenges both in the school and outside the school environment. This 2021 academic year alone teachers have witnessed a lot of setbacks, talking about teaching amidst the pandemic and not been classified as a frontline worker, the recent brutalizing of teachers with no report of an arrest made, and many others. This post is mainly going to look at what the majority of teachers want the executives of GNAT to do for their members this year.
Two major issues
At the beginning of this year, the government hinted at buying laptops for teachers in the country to help facilitate their work and also help complete the digitization process of their work. There was a collective agreement on behalf of teachers by the various teacher unions and government to buy these laptops with the government taking 70% of the cost of the laptops and the teachers taking the remaining 30% of the cost which according to sources the money will be deducted from the controller on teachers who pick these laptops.
For most teachers it will be in the best interest them for teacher unions to take the 30% percent of the cost of laptops that teachers are to pay for. Teachers think if this money is paid on their behalf by the unions it will, however, build the lost trust between the unions and their members.
Most teachers are however encourage to add these laptops issue to this year’s resolutions at the local and national conference that has been going rounds across the country to make sure this plead of the teachers reach their national executive of the various teacher unions for these teachers to meet their demands.
Another major issue which most teachers want their national executives to fulfill this year is the issue of upgrading teachers to their respective ranks. Teachers have bemoaned the inability of Ghana education services and the government refusing to upgrade them after they have completed their further studies course and have approvals from the district to the regional level but have been denied upgrading to their rightful ranks. Meanwhile, their teacher union leaders are not saying anything concerning this matter.
It seems like only these teachers who are seeking upgrading are fighting their fight with their leaders pretending not to know that some teachers have returned from study leave since 2018 and are still not yet upgrade to their respective ranks. I wonder why every month members pay their dues but that same money cannot be used to fight for the same member when he or she needs it? What is the use of the member’s dues?
So teachers want these issues of upgrading them to be resolve by their unions getting into the matter and find solutions for them why GES have refused to upgrade them. So teachers have entreat their colleagues representing them in the district and national conference to try and make these two-issue their priority at the conferences.
Although teachers face a lot of challenges much priority should be put on the laptops and the upgrading for now.