The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has been advised to contribute its quota for improving educational policies introduced by the government.
Addressing the 53rd Western Regional Delegates Conference in Takoradi, the Registrar of Takoradi Technical University, Dr. Moses Maclean Abnory said GNAT cannot be relevant in the current dispensation if it only occupies itself with only issues regarding the working conditions of its workers.
“GNAT has the responsibility to develop a strong collaboration with government on all issues relating to education, especially at the primary and secondary levels. They should work to be relevant stakeholders, especially in educational policy formulation and implementation, and position themselves to be the first port of call for the government on all pre-tertiary educational issues.”
Speaking on the theme: “GNAT @90: Surviving as a reliable and vibrant teacher union in the 21st century: Add to teacher professionalism,” Dr. Abnory said, for GNAT to be vibrant, the fight for teachers welfare must extend beyond working conditions to teacher empowerment through training.
“On staff welfare, issues such as job security, living wages, fringe benefits and general responses to challenges which they face as members would be paramount, GNAT should be seen actively working on these in the interest of its members. However, training for members should be seen as an important welfare issue as it is for the development of the individual as well as the organisation one finds himself. Unions should be interested in training their members to be efficient as well as prepare them for further opportunities within the work environment. Well-trained members will enhance the union’s growth,” he added.
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah who graced the Regional GNAT delegates conference also added that the vibrancy of GNAT after 90 years would also depend on teacher professionalism.
“For GNAT to remain a political, economic and social force in Ghana, much depends on the role of its members and the level of professionalism displayed in the field of their chosen career. Surviving as a reliable and vibrant teacher union will not come from anywhere but a survived, vibrant teacher who can be relied on. How do you ensure that your members survive and remain reliable and vibrant? It largely depends on the kind of packages and programmes that the association designs for its members, thus, developing their professional skills and sharpening their expertise in the education delivery business.”
The Western Regional Director of Education, Felicia Agyeibea Okai who also added her voice for teacher professionalism said it must start with teachers taking responsibilities seriously and playing a critical role in the successful delivery of education in the country.
Both the Deputy National GNAT General Security, Daniel Afful and the Western Regional GNAT Chairman, Charles Kaku while assuring members of leadership’s commitment to their welfare called on GNAT members to adhere to the principles of a professional and dedicated teacher for the good of Ghana’s educational sector.