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GNAT wants maternity leave duration extended

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Pregnant WomanThe Gender Unit of the Ghana National Association of Teachers Ladies Association (GNAT-LAS) in the Gomoa East and West districts have appealed to the government to review the policy on maternity leave from the current three-month period to six months.

This, the female teachers said, would enable nursing mothers to take advantage of the Ghana Health Service policy of feeding babies exclusively on breast milk for six months and also have enough time to care for their babies.

This was contained in a resolution passed at a round-table conference held at Apam.

The resolution appealed to the government to provide incentives to female teachers who are posted to deprived areas of the country to enable them to stay there to serve as role models for the girls to take their schooling seriously.

It also urged the government to introduce scholarship schemes for female teachers to enable them to upgrade their knowledge to enhance their performance in the classroom.

The resolution further appealed to GNAT to facilitate the negotiation on allowances for teachers who teach mathematics and sciences, and teachers in remote and deprived areas, known as category two and three allowances.

It also urged GNAT to organise programmes to empower female teachers to contest for higher positions in the association to enable them to influence decision-making.

The Greater Accra Regional Secretary of GNAT, Mrs Gifty Apambil, who was the guest speaker, cautioned teachers against the use of the cane as a pointer in the classroom as that could create fears among the children.

She urged teachers to make the school and classroom environment as friendly as possible.

Mrs Apambil appealed to heads of schools and education officers not to make supervision a punishment but as a means to encourage the teachers to improve upon their performance.

She advised teachers to ensure that no child stopped schooling because of the attitude of teachers.

“You are doomed if a child could terminate his or her education because of your actions,” she said.

Mrs Apambil described the theme for the conference; “Education in Crisis; Empowering the Female Teacher for Quality Education,” as very apt, as there were 90,000 female teachers within the GNAT.

She said knowledge was dynamic, therefore, teachers must not be content with the knowledge they had acquired at the training colleges but must make the sky their limit in acquiring knowledge.

She appealed to organisers of Distant Education to vary the curriculum of the courses to enable the students to get the chance to pursue different types of courses, adding that the current curriculum put limitation on the courses students could pursue.

The Gomoa District GNAT Secretary, Mr Nicholas Taylor, said the low esteem of some women, coupled with their inability to stand pressure and criticism, were some of the reasons why they were poorly represented at decision-making and leadership levels.

He urged them not to allow shyness and inferiority complex to haunt them in contesting for positions.

The District Director of Education, Mrs Grace Adzo Obodai, advised female teachers to build self-confidence and appealed to husbands to encourage their wives to upgrade themselves.

A former District Director of Education for Gomoa West, Mrs Rose Newman, commended GNAT-LAS on its efforts to improve the standard of its members, and said the role expected of female teachers was to improve  on education in the country.

Source: GNA

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