Mills announces "adequate packages" for teachers
President John Atta Mills on Tuesday commended Ghanaian teachers for calling off a strike action embarked upon last month to press for quick Government response to their demands for allowances, and announced adequate remuneration packages for their services.
He said Government would reciprocate the good gesture and ensure that the unfortunate trend of poor remuneration for teachers was reversed.
“May this year see the filling of your pockets,” the President said to a standing ovation of appreciative teachers who rapturously applauded.
President Mills made the announcement when he officially opened the Third Quadriennial National Delegates Conference of the Ghana Naitonal Association of Teachers in Accra.
The five-day conference is running at the University of Ghana Business School, Legon, from Janunary 3 to 7, on the theme “Investing in People to achieve Quality Education by 2015.”
About 750 participants, comprising members of the Association, education administrators and eduaction experts from sister African countries, as well as Denmark, and a delagtion from Education International are in attendance.
Referring to his invitation to the function, the first official function in the new year, as “sweet coincidence”, the President, a professor at law, expressed his happiness to join his colleague teachers as they met to give verve and find ways to strengthen the noble profession in order to impact positively on the lives of Ghanaians.
President Mills underscored the role of quality education in nation-building, and explained that achieving quality education hinged on a quadruple of pillars of sound environment and good teachers, availability of good teaching materials, training of teachers and cooperation, and the school environment.
President Mills re-echoed Government’s programme to invest in people in Government’s Better Ghana agenda, and explained that the distribution of free school uniform and textbooks to pupils in Basic Schools, was part of the scheme to invest in people, and making quality education as one of the pivots of the Better Ghana agenda.
The President acknowledged that good remuneration for teachers was a key factor to achieving quality education.
However, very often the remuneration package was not enough.
“Government will ensure that the unfortunate trend is reversed,” President Mills said, adding, “it is my hope and desire that as we get near the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure, we’ll do everything to support the GNAT and the educational sector.”
President Mills said Government would encourage private participation in the provision of vocational and technical education, especially at the tertiary level.
Wishing the teachers a new year of happiness, joy and prosperity, President Mills urged the conference to come out with recommendations that would apply effectively to improve the standards of education.
Mr Alex Tettey Enyo, Minister of Education, and Mr Stephen Amoanor Kwao, Minister for Employment and Social Welfare, called for higher levels of co-operation between teachers and Government.
Solidarity messages we read from both foreign and local sister associations.
The Association presented plaques to President Mills and other individuals for their role in promoting quality education.
Present at the ceremony was Ms Susan Osgood, President of Education International.