Teaching shouldn’t be a stop-gap measure or job of last resort – Akufo-Addo

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said teaching should not be seen as a stop-gap measure or a job of last resort.

Rather, he said, it should be seen as a viable choice to enter a well-respected profession with positive long term career prospects and good benefits.

He said these on Tuesday, 4th January 2022, when he participated and delivered remarks at the 6th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) in Kumasi.

The event was also used to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Association.

President Akufo-Addo said “For us, in Ghana, also to make a success of our nation, we must pay attention to teachers.

“My government believes that teaching should not be seen as a stop-gap measure or a job of last resort, but as a viable choice to enter a well-respected profession with positive long term career prospects and good benefits.

“We have restored, since coming into office five years ago, and continue to pay, teacher trainee allowances, which were abolished by the previous administration.

“In addition to the yearly average increase in salaries over the last five (5) years, my government is, for the first time in our nation’s history, paying a professional allowance to teachers.

“We have abolished the three (3) months’ pay policy for teachers, we have cleared the arrears, and promotions due teachers have also been effected. Government is also committed to the development of affordable housing for teachers all across the nation. The current initiative will involve the provision of housing for both mortgage and rental.

“Through a subsidised loan programme, teachers will be provided an opportunity to own houses in desired locations in various parts of the country. The Ministry of Education is working with the National Service Scheme on this.

“In addition, the Ministry of Works and Housing is in discussion with teacher unions to provide more housing opportunities for teachers. Within the next two years, it is proposed that ten thousand (10,000) housing units on affordable terms will be developed for teachers across the country.”

During the same event, the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffuor Awuah, revealed that the government would this year, increase the 4% salary increment for public sector workers to 7 per cent.

“We had to negotiate with the leadership of organised labour and in the process we had to agree that we also had to be modest in our request on the national kitty.

“That is how we ended at the 4%. Mr President, the beautiful thing is that we are moving on and we had agreed that coming into this current year the 4 per cent will no longer exist and that we are going to give lecturers a 7 per cent increment,” he said.

The government had earlier last year, increased salary by 4 per cent, a decision that was heavily opposed by labour unions including GNAT.

The unions were calling for a higher percentage increment.

The President of GNAT, Ms Philipa Larsen, was reported to have said after the increment that “We are calling on the President; otherwise, there would be no peace, and the country would become ungovernable,” she warned.

According to her, “the current system of remuneration in the public sector is not fair; it favours some categories of office holders in the public service.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana