A Research and Management Consultant, Dr Linus Linnaeus Tannor, has urged the Ghana National Association of Teachers to help improve the living standards of rural teachers.
He said the environment teachers found themselves in rural areas was appalling and needed a collaborative effort of GNAT and the government to change.
Dr Tannor was speaking in Sunyani during the opening of the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regional 53rd Delegates Conference of GNAT, which was attended by 562 delegates.
It was on the theme: “GNAT@90: Surviving as a Reliable and a Vibrant Teacher Union in the 21st Century-The Contribution of Brong Ahafo.”
Dr Tannor suggested a special working incentive scheme for teachers in remote and deprived communities to make teaching in those areas attractive.
Dr Tannor advised teachers to appear corporate in their dressing irrespective of the working conditions because many students and young people looked up to them as role models.
He stated about 70 per cent of GNAT members were youth hence the Association must develop a mentorship programme aimed at improving the young people in the profession and also be allowed to occupy some executive positions devoid of tribal and partisan politics.
Dr Tannor urged the Association to be media-friendly as a way to promoting its programmes and activities in the country.
Most Reverend Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, the Catholic Bishop of Sunyani Diocese, said the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions collectively had the highest number of students, qualifying to the tertiary institutions in last year’s West Africa Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
He said, hitherto, the regions were ranked among the poorest performing regions in the country but were now counted among the best despite the renowned and elite schools in regions like the Central, Ashanti and Greater Accra.
Most Rev Gyamfi attributed that to the dedications and sacrifices of teachers, who accepted postings to the regions, especially in the remote areas and lauded them to maintain the momentum for the pupils and students to perform even better.
Madam Philippa Larsen, the National President of GNAT, in an address, said the Association would intensify the schools’ monitoring activities to inspire members to work harder to maintain and increase the quality of education in the country.
She appealed to the government to review the four per cent salary increment for public sector workers, saying that it was woefully inadequate and members of GNAT were not happy about it.