President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured teachers that government was taking steps to ensure that their allowances no longer went into arrears.
He said government would complete the payment of all outstanding arrears owed teachers by the end of March this year.
The arrears, including travel, transfer grants, and overtime allowances,had been accrued from 2013 to 2016.
“Presently, government is no longer accruing arrears. We are putting in place measures to ensure that this situation does not reoccur… and I commend the teacher unions including; GNAT for their collaboration in this exercise which is scheduled to end by the end of March.” he said when he commissioned the reconstructed Bediako Conference Hall at the headquarters of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) in Accra on Thursday.
The facility was originally commissioned in 1981, but had not seen a significant facelift since then. The facelift which cost some GHc 7 million, has raised the Halls’ sitting capacity from 400 to 1,100. The Bediako Conference Hall, which also includes; a bar, restaurant and a hostel, has been fitted with amenities that make the facility disability-friendly.
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that government was developing a comprehensive teacher policy based on UNESCO benchmarks to enhance the working conditions of teachers.
That policy would encompass nine components including; recruitment and retention, teacher education, free service and in service, deployment, career structure, employment and working conditions, reward and remuneration, teacher standings, accountability and school governance.
Additionally, Government he said, was pursuing several reforms, including; pre-tertiary curricular reforms, teacher education curricular 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 system to meet the needs of the twenty-first century and produce a skilled and confident work force to drive the nation’s agenda for industrialisation and modernisation,” the President stressed.
The President said Government recognised that all modern successful nations that had experienced extraordinary results in the formation of human capital and economic development had shown that the teacher quality was the single most important determinant of their success.
“For us in Ghana, also to make a success of our nation, we must pay attention to teachers. It is only a crop of well trained, well-motivated teachers that can help deliver the educated and skilled work force, we require to transform our economy. We have begun to improve on the circumstances of our teachers,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo appealed to the various teacher associations to lend support to government to enable it improve the standard of the profession.
“Our collective goal should be to build a new Ghanaian civilisation where prosperity and development are underpinned by creativity, innovation, hard work, honesty, integrity, and fellow feeling. GNAT should be front-line actors in this noble course,” he said.