A voter casts her ballot in Accra, Ghana, on Dec. 7, 2016. Ghana's general elections began from 7 a.m. (0700 GMT) on Wednesday, with more than 15 million registered voters casting their ballots at 29,000 polling stations across the country. (Xinhua/Shi Song)(gl)

Ms Philippa Larsen, National President of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has appealed to all political parties and their supporters to avoid violence in all its forms in the run-up to the December 7, elections.

She urged them to be tolerant of divergent views, stressing that the nation needed peace and unity to enhance enviable democratic gains and sustainable socio-economic growth.

Delivering a fraternal message at the 27th Annual Conference of the Conference of Directors of Education (CODE) in Cape Coast on Tuesday, she pledged the Association’s commitment to work assiduously with all stakeholders to safeguard national peace, harmony and tranquility.

Reiterating her personal commitment to that effect, she said “I Philipina Larsen, National President of GNAT, pledge to peaceful, transparent and fair elections in the December 7 polls. I call on all of you to pledge to peace before, during and after the elections.”

Ms Larsen cautioned the teachers and the youth to avoid politicians who would attempt to use them to cause mayhem, but be good ambassadors of peaceful polls.

“Avoid any act that will let you come into abrasion with the laws of Ghana because the law will deal with you irrespective of your political or socio-economic status,” she added.

Touching on some issues at the labour and educational front, she expressed concern about teachers’ pensions and management and described it as meagre sums that did not commiserated with their dedicated years of service.

Also, in furtherance to the professional development of GNAT members, she announced that the Association had successfully negotiated and agreed with the Ministry of Education for a three semester sandwich programme to be run for teachers who hold Diploma in Education certificate.

The move was to ensure that all in-service teachers get First Degrees before the new graduates from the Collages of Education for the first Degree pass out in 2021/2022.

On reopening of schools and safety measures put in place, Ms Larsen appealed to the Ministerial Committee to factor in the concern of teacher unions on provision of the right covid-19 measures to protect teachers and supporting staff.

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The Ghana news Agency (GNA) was established on March 5, 1957, i.e. on the eve of Ghana's independence and charged with the "dissemination of truthful unbiased news". It was the first news agency to be established in Sub-Saharan Africa. GNA was part of a comprehensive communication policy that sought to harness the information arm of the state to build a viable, united and cohesive nation-state. GNA has therefore been operating in the unique role of mobilizing the citizens for nation building, economic and social development, national unity and integration.


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