Mr. Ajono Martins, the Central Gonja District secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), has appealed to the government and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to provide the area with more JHS as lack of adequate junior high school affects the development of education in the area.
According to him, the area has only junior high schools as against 96 primary schools, thus demoralizing children from achieving higher education.
Mr. Martins made the appeal during the 5th quadrennial delegate’s congress by the Central Gonja GNAT Secretariat.
“We also need more junior high schools. Because the district has about 96 primary schools with only 25 JHS. I can take the Sankpagla corridor; they have only three JHS with 13 primary schools. So the students only complete primary school and they are not able to continue,” he stated.
Mr. Ajono Martins also said teachers are lacking in the area, pointing out that there are well built schools with students in them, but no teachers to teach the students,
“There are well built schools but there are no teachers to teach, so we are in consultation with the GES to send more teachers to the area,” he said.
He also mentioned lack of commitment on the part of community members in developing education in their areas, wrongful teacher salary deductions and lack of teacher motivation as some of the challenges facing teachers in the area.
Meanwhile, the Northern Regional chairman of the association, K.K. Ntoba, on his part, called on teachers to see their profession as a call by God to bring light to the society.
It is estimated that, about 10,000 teachers leave the profession every year in Ghana over poor working conditions and low salaries, but speaking to the media on the challenges faced by teachers in the country, especially, the Northern Region at the 5th Quadrennial delegates congress of the Central Gonja District GNAT Secretariat, Mr. Ntoba said teachers are called by God to serve mankind just as the prophets and the messengers and not a way to making money.
“As for the challenges, they are there, but we also have a call from God, at least, to bring out the good things that God has put in here on earth, but what we the leaders want our members understand that, the profession should not be seen as a means of making or a job to make money but you see it as a real call from God,” he said.
Mr. Ntoba, who is also the headmaster of the Bole Senior High School, however, believes that teachers in Ghana suffer a lot and needed urgent attention.
He said teachers in Ghana have the lowest salaries when compared to other workers who offer almost the same service for the people.
He however appealed to the members not to be discouraged but rather give out their best for the sake of the children they are teaching.
“We are in a situation where when you compare the salaries of the teacher to that of others in many many other areas, you will see that, that of the teacher is lower, that is a challenge, but of course, as union leaders we want our members to realize that, yes, it might be so, but we have the duty to the little ones that have been entrusted into our hands,” he noted
“So we often tell our members that, they should consider the Ghanaian child. We also make them aware that, supposing the teachers who taught them were not committed, then we wouldn’t have any reason to become teachers,” he added
Mr. Ntoba also called on teachers to see their profession as one of the most respected jobs in the country, so that the society will respect them.
He said society looks down on teachers because they themselves lack confidence and respect for the work they do, causing people to disrespect teachers in the country.
“In the past yes, but now the situation is changing because, we have told our teachers that, you should never look down upon yourself. It is the person who looks down on himself that is looked by others,” he stated.
At the end of the one-day congress, Reverend Wulpe Braimah, the district exams officer and chairman of the local churches in the area, polled 22 votes to beat the other two candidates, who polled 9 and 7 votes respectively.
For the vice-chair position, one Mr. Sadique Abdul-Hakeem polled 22 votes to beat his main contestant, Sumani Abdul-Kadr, who polled 16 votes.
In the youth coordinator position, Mr. Awuni Neb beat his main contestant, Bugri Joshua, by 3 votes. He polled 19 votes to beat Bugri Joshua, who polled 16 votes.
For the treasurer position, one Zakaria Zuweira, the only candidate for that position had 34 yes, and was approved the treasurer for the district secretariat.
Other positions and their winners were the trustee position Mr. Seidu Abdulai, Basic school rep, Mr. Tanko Nuhu.
However, some positions were not vied for and therefore the members were appointed to take those positions. These included the education management representative, Abdulai Abdul-Aziz, SHS representative Mr. Suguyam Kuuwal, vocational and technical representative Baano Albert, among others.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Abdul-Fatawu Adam Wunizoya, Tamale