The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says, in to this year's 10% increase in basic salaries for teachers, his Government is clearing all arrears, accrued between 2013 and 2016, owed teachers with respect to travel allowances, transfer grants and overtime allowances.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “Presently, Government is no longer accruing arrears. We are putting in place measures to ensure that this situation does not recur, and I commend the teacher unions, including GNAT, for their collaboration in this exercise, which is scheduled to end at the end of March.”
The President made this known on Thursday, 31st January, 2019, when he commissioned the refurbished Bediako Hall at the national headquarters of the Ghana National Association of Teachers.
Addressing the gathering, he stated that for Ghana also to make a success of itself, attention must be paid to teachers., explaining that it is only a crop of well trained and motivated teachers that can help deliver the educated and skilled workforce needed to transform the Ghanaian economy.
President Akufo-Addo noted that Government is working alongside key stakeholders to develop a comprehensive teacher policy, based on UNESCO benchmarks, to enhance the lot of teachers.
The nine components of this policy, he said, are teacher recruitment and retention; teacher education (pre-service and in-service); deployment; career structure and path; teacher employment and working conditions; teacher reward and remuneration; teachers’ standards; teacher accountability; and school governance.
Government, the President also added, is pursuing several reforms, including pre-tertiary curricula reforms, teacher education curricula reforms at the pre-tertiary and tertiary levels, and mainstreaming technical and vocational training and teacher education.
“These reforms form part of Government's vision to transform the country's education delivery system to meet the needs of the 21st century, and produce a skilled and confident workforce to drive the nation’s agenda for industrialisation and modernisation. I appeal to GNAT, and, indeed, to all other Teacher Unions, to give their full backing to this comprehensive programme,” he said.
The President continued, “Our collective goal should be to build a new Ghanaian civilisation, where our prosperity and development are underpinned by values of creativity, innovation, hard work, honesty, integrity and fellow-feeling. Members of GNAT should be frontline actors in this noble quest.”
Paying tribute to the late T.A. Bediako, the man in whose memory the hall is named, President Akufo-Addo noted that GNAT is what it is today because of the work of its pioneers, including T.A. Bediako.
“From serving as one of the first full-time staff of the Association, to helping establish the Ghana Teaching Service in 1974, now Ghana Education Service (GES), to playing an important role in the 1974 Education Reforms, he was a man who truly had this Association and the welfare of its members at heart,” the President said.
His crowning glory came in 1977, when he was appointed General Secretary of GNAT.
President Akufo-Addo assured that “under my administration, I can assure you that the work undertaken by T.A. Bediako, and the many who came after him, will not be in vain.”