Madam Philippa Larsen, the Acting National President of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has called on teacher unions to strongly advocate against illegal mining activities in the country.
She said when water bodies were destroyed through such acts, pupils and students would have to walk long distances in search for water, which would affect the time they spent in school and their academic performance.
“We should be able to advocate strongly by adding our voices to oppose illegal mining activities,” She said, adding that, teachers were the pivot around which development and transformation revolved.
Madam Larsen made the call in Bolgatanga when she addressed the fifth Quadrennial District Delegates Conference of GNAT, themed; “Transforming Societies Through Education: The Role of the Teacher Unions Towards Agenda 2030”.
She said teacher unions should be able to have a continuous consultation with all, especially GNAT, and to come out with a policy directive that would help in building up a curriculum that would transform the society.
Madam Larsen said GNAT as an association prioritizes the professional development of its members and in collaboration with the Canadian Teachers Federation (CTF), organizes workshops for its members in three regions every year.
“This year, I am happy to inform you that the GNAT /CTF programmes will be held in Greater Accra, Central and Western regions”.
The Acting President assured the delegates that GNAT would continue to speak and fight for its members at all times to ensure that they were provided with the required skills and materials needed to do their work to achieve the best results.
She said there was the need for teachers to change their ways of teaching to meet the fast growing trend of the world and entreated teacher unions to be curious in acquiring professional knowledge of framework and curriculum learners.
Madam Larsen said as teachers they should identify gaps and go beyond the textbooks to enable them emphasis more on current issues and reminded government on the need to motivate teachers, especially those who accepted postings to remote rural communities.
She said “a positive and result orientated school begins with the teacher who sets the tone for all that happen in the school”, and called on Teacher Unions to exhibit professional attitudes and values as role models for the children they teach.
She said there was a conference validation in which 117, 232 documents were received, 63,614 were worked on with 42,347 successfully validated for payment, while 41,550 have been paid leaving 797, and added that about 21,267 forms were queried with 53,678 in outstanding.
On tier two pension fund for teachers, she said “government has paid from September 2016 to January 2017 and members will start benefitting from that fund from 2020.”
She said government still had arrears of eighty months to pay, spanning from January 2010 to August 2016, adding that the outstanding amount was in a temporary pension fund account at the Bank of Ghana.