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Government to improve welfare of teachers with affordable housing – Henry Quartey

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The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey, has announced that the government seeks to contribute to the welfare of teachers in the country by building 100,000 affordable housing units for them.

This came to the fore at the 6th Quadrennial & 53rd Greater Accra Regional Delegates Conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) when the Municipal Chief Executive for Krowor, Joshua Nii Bortey, represented the Minister at the July 27 event and read a speech on his behalf.

“It is worth noting that the government launched a number of reforms to improve teacher training to support the Free Senior High School Policy. To this end, we have taken policy measures to improve the general conditions of teachers through payment of competitive remuneration, provision of decent accommodation, enhanced retirement benefits, among others, in order to motivate you to improve on your delivery capacity. It is significant to note that an agreement has been reached [between UNOPS (United Nations Office for Project Service) and the government] for the government to construct 100,000 housing units for teachers,” Joshua Nii Bortey read.

This announcement was however met with loud grumbles, largely filled with disbelief, from the crowd of teachers in attendance.

However, the Regional Minister, through the Krowor MCE, indicated that the move was genuine and centred on motivating teachers appropriately.

“Indeed, motivating teachers is key to improving quality, accessibility and relevance of education. Equally significant is the principle of rewarding and appreciating teachers who have excelled in their fields. Indeed, this is one of the important ways of inspiring teachers to continue to offer services to improve the educational sector of our dear nation. Let’s also not lose sight of the fact that awarding deserving teachers goes a long way in motivating their peers to improve upon their performance,” he added.

The 6th Quadrennial & 53rd Greater Accra Regional Delegates Conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) was held under the theme, ‘GNAT @ 90; surviving as a Reliable and Vibrant Teacher Union In the 21st Century: Challenges and Prospects for a Broader Membership Participation’.

Speaking on the theme in his keynote address, the guest speaker, Dr Mark Kojo Armah, who is a lecturer with the Department of Data Science and Economic Policy at the School of Economics at the University of Cape Coast, charged the celebrating body, GNAT, to continue to be a vibrant association.

“One of the issues that impair the growth of associations and organizations is the lack of openness and transparency on the part of leadership. In addition to being transparent and open towards its membership, there is the need for the leadership of GNAT to be regularly accountable to its constituents. Furthermore, it is instructive for leadership to adopt more bottom-up approaches in eliciting the views of members on the welfare packages that they more likely prefer in order to provide packages that will satisfy their constituents.”

“GNAT must use affirmative action coupled with increased advocacy to raise the awareness of both current and prospective members about the attractive benefits of belonging to GNAT compared to other associations/unions. GNAT should embark on an aggressive recruitment drive that targets particularly teacher trainees.”

The day was also used to launch a revamped version of the Credit Mall platform, a subsidiary of the Teachers’ Fund of GNAT.

The Chairman of the Restructuring Committee for Credit Mall & Board Member of the Teachers’ Fund of GNAT, Dr. Kweku Ainuson, told Citi News that while the platform had been set up primarily for members of the association, plans were far advanced to extend the service to all other public sector workers.

“We do have plans to reach out to other non-teachers.  As long as you’re on the controller [the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department] platform, you would be able to do business with us. We’re hoping that in the next couple of months, it will be possible for all workers that earn their salary through the controller platform to be able to do business with the Credit Mall,” he said.

Credit Mall was set up by the Teachers’ Fund of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) to serve the consumer credit needs of teachers.

Workers on CAGD payroll can purchase items on a hire-purchase basis and pay in monthly instalments for a maximum period of twenty-four (24) months.

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