The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) in the Builsa North Municipality, Upper East Region, has entreated its members to remain resolute and not fall for any threat to return to the classroom in the ongoing indefinite strike action.
“I am urging all not to fall for any threat. They should remain resolute, and stay away from school,” Mr Benedict Akpem, the Builsa District GNAT Secretary said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sandema.
Four teacher-unions; GNAT, the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) and the Teachers Educational Workers Union (TEWU) have embarked on indefinite strike across the country.
The action is meant to compel Government to heed to their demand for 20 per cent payment of their Cost-of-Living Allowance (CoLA).
Mr Akpem said even though the teacher-unions appreciated the negative impact their action posed to pupils and students across the country, especially in the Builsa land, “Our condition of service also matter.
“We are feeling the hardship, and in the face of that, we are making a call to Government to give us the CoLA. Until then, we will not return to the classrooms,” the District GNAT Secretary said.
He emphasized that it was indefinite, and not a sit-down strike action, where members would decide to go to school and not teach.
“No school, stay at home and rally behind leadership to fight for Government to listen to our call,” he told the teachers.
Prior to the interview with the District Secretary, the GNA visited some public schools in the Builsa North Municipality to ascertain the impact of the strike and observed that the classrooms in the schools visited were deserted with some few pupils playing on the premises.
At the Preparatory Junior High School (JHS) for instance, some pupils were seen drawing on their classroom boards, others were seated in groups outside the classrooms chatting among themselves while the rest played ‘ampe’ and football around.
Master Solomon Awaatey, a final year pupil of the school appealed to Government to adhere to the demands of their teachers so that they could return to school and help them prepare for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) scheduled for October this year.
When the GNA visited the Azantilow Senior High Technical School (SHTS), final year students had just finished writing their Integrated Science mock paper with some teachers around to supervise them.
Some students the GNA spoke to, reiterated appeals to Government to listen to the demands of the teacher-unions.
“Our final year students are writing their mock exams; we are learning on our own.
“No teachers to teach us, they are on strike,” Ms Ruffina Aboalik, a second-year student of the school said.
The GNA, as part of its monitoring of the strike impact in the Municipality spotted some pupils from the Sandema JHS at 10:45hours who took the advantage to fish in a dam along a road leading to the Sandema Township.