GNAT donates life jackets to teachers

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has urged the government to eliminate all obstacles that hinder equal access to education in the country.

Thomas Tanko Musah, the General Secretary of the association, expressed concern about the lack of schools in disadvantaged areas of Ghana and the government’s failure to meet teachers’ basic needs.

Musah made these remarks during a presentation ceremony at the GNAT headquarters, where life jackets were provided to teachers in the Krachi East and West Districts of the Oti Region. Many teachers face life-threatening risks as they navigate water bodies to carry out their duties. Despite the dangers involved, traveling by water is their only means of reaching their respective schools.

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One teacher, Prosper K Addo, shared his harrowing experience of surviving a canoe accident during a six-hour journey on the Volta Lake. He recounted how he was fortunate to be rescued by kind-hearted individuals who came to his aid while he was struggling to stay afloat.

To enhance the safety of teachers in riverine communities, the GNAT headquarters procured and presented 251 life jackets to the Oti Regional Union. These jackets will be distributed to teachers in approximately 36 basic schools in the Krachi East and West districts.

The National President of GNAT, Rev. Isaac Owusu, expressed concern about the challenges faced by teachers in underserved communities. He pledged that the union would continue its efforts to improve the lives of affected teachers. Rev. Owusu called on the government to implement the policy that mandates the Ghana Education Service (GES) to allocate 20% of teachers’ gross salary as an incentive for serving in deprived communities.

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The General Secretary of GNAT, Thomas Musah, highlighted the growing disparity in access to quality education, citing the example of the Krachi East District, which has 46 riverine communities but only 21 schools. He emphasized the government’s responsibility to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all.

Musah reiterated the need for the government to provide life jackets and boats to enable students to attend schools safely in these areas. He emphasized that the welfare and interests of the children should be the top priority, as stated in the teachers’ code of conduct.

This gesture by GNAT follows a previous presentation in 2022, during which members expressed dissatisfaction with the inadequate number of jackets provided. Similar initiatives will be carried out in other affected districts to safeguard the lives of GNAT members.

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