Mrs. Irene Duncan Adanusa, the General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), has said in spite of seminars and workshops organized to raise the level of Trade Union and professional consciousness of GNAT members, a large percentage of those at the grassroots were ignorant about the activities of the Association.
“It appears the time, expense and achievements of these GNAT educational programmes have not been very much worth the effort”, she said.
Mrs. Adanusa said this at a three-day workshop organized by the GNAT Youth Desk in Cape Coast under the theme, “Rationale for the GNAT Youth Policy.”
She said the effectiveness of any organization depended not only on the number of members but also on how well informed they were about the organization as well as their level of involvement and participation.
The workshop was attended by about 50 participants including Regional Secretaries and other executives of the Association as well as teachers from other regions.
Mrs Adanusa said the ignorance of the grassroots was because only a small percentage of the members participated in the activities and actually utilize the benefits.
She said in a research work titled “Report on GNAT Membership Satisfaction Survey” carried out in 2009 among a 1,000 respondents across Ghana, it was discovered that there was low participation of members in the activities of the Association and that there was also the high incidence of ineffective functioning of grassroots structures of the GNAT.
According to the research, 80% of the respondents had never been invited for any programme of the GNAT, 50.4% of them had never participated in any activity organized by the GNAT while 57% were of the view that publicity of GNAT programmes were low.
Mrs. Adanusa said in view of this, the National Delegates Conference held in 2010 decided that a youth policy should be developed to address the concerns of the 70% youthful members of the Association and that the National Executive has supervised the formulation of a Youth Policy.
She said the Policy was in conformity with the current amended 2010 GNAT Constitution and other international youth policies and that the purpose of the Policy is to integrate young teachers within the formal structures of the GNAT, whiles providing support to improve the situation of young teachers in the Association.
She said a GNAT Youth Desk has been established at the GNAT Headquarters in Accra as the lead agency to coordinate the implementation of the Youth Policy as well as ensuring coherence of implemented activities at the National, Regional, District and local levels.
She said the Desk needed the maximum support of young members to achieve the best for all young teachers since it will inform future policy decisions and help design better programmes for the youth.