Government has been urged to improve on the working conditions of teachers to help attract more youth into the teaching profession.
Professor Abudul-Rahman Ibn, Head of Veterinary Science Department at the University for Development Studies (UDS), noted that the move would enhance the teaching and learning process in schools, and help the country’s target of achieving quality education for all, as set out in the Sustainable Development Goals.
He made the call at the Ghana National Association of Teachers’ (GNAT) 6th Quadrennial and 53rd Northern Regional Delegates’ Conference, held in Tamale.
The event was on the theme: “GNAT at 90: surviving as a reliable and vibrant teacher union in the 21st century; empowering the youth for a brighter future”.
The conference was part of activities to celebrate GNAT’s 90th anniversary and also to elect Northern Regional Executives to lead the Association for the next four years, grounded in Article 16(2) of the GNAT constitution.
Professor Ibn said most of the youth were not interested in joining the teaching profession due to the poor conditions of teachers in the county.
He said, “Teachers were once highly respected professionals that often served as inspirational role models for young people in society, but the situation is much different for teachers these days due to their difficult working conditions”.
He appealed to government and education sector stakeholders to make the teaching profession more attractive to the youth through the development and implementation of holistic national teacher policies to draw more graduates into teaching.
Professor Ibn called on government to collaborate with stakeholders to properly map out career paths, good working conditions, and consider appropriate rewards and remunerations to motivate and retain teachers in the profession.
“Government should consider initiating a deployment contract for young teacher trainees, which features a fixed salary and housing allowance and cater for their health care needs”, he noted.
Mr Atta N. Longiya, the Northern Regional Chairman of GNAT called on the government to reconsider the four per cent increment in base salary for public sector workers, saying it was not encouraging.
He appealed to government to actualize the allowances for teachers in deprived areas to motivate them to accept posting to those areas.
He announced that GNAT now fully owned the Swedish Ghana Medical Centre amidst highly competitive international biding, and said the facility would provide the health needs of teachers across the country.
Mr Daniel Affadu, Deputy General Secretary in Charge of Administration and Labour Relations of GNAT, appealed to the government to support teachers with accommodation facilities, especially in rural areas, to help maintain their interests in the profession.
He ssid “most teachers find it difficult to accept postings to the rural areas due to accommodation and transportation challenges in those areas”.
Dr Peter Attafuah, Northern Regional Director of Education, advised teachers to work to promote quality education in the Northern sector.