President of GNAT, Philippa Larsen

The Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Sunyani Technical University, Professor Solomon Korantwi-Barimah has called on the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) to provide an affordable housing scheme to teachers serving in rural communities.

This, he said, would motivate more teachers to accept postings to these deprived communities and help improve the quality of education there.

Prof Korantwi-Barimah made the call in a speech read on his behalf during the Sixth Quadrennial Delegates’ Conference of the Goaso District branch of the Association.

The conference was on the theme: “GNAT @ 90, Surviving as a Vibrant Teacher Union in the 21st century: The Role of Stakeholders.”

Prof Korantwi-Barimah underlined the need for the association to establish partnerships with traditional and local authorities and key stakeholders to address accommodation challenges in rural areas.

“Over the decades, GNAT has done extremely well in supporting its members in the areas of hostel accommodation and credit and investment schemes. These interventions continue to respond to the growing needs of members”.

“However, I believe it will be prudent for the leadership to examine critically how to bridge the gap between the urban-rural teacher ratio and this could be achieved if accommodation is provided to teachers serving in the rural communities,” he said.

Prof Korantwi-Barimah cautioned the leadership of GNAT not to take the loyalty of members for granted and adopt proactive measures to sustain interest in the Association.

He suggested that the Association could provide motorbikes to local branch executives to enhance monitoring and supervision.

Prof. Korantwi-Barimah commended the Association for protecting the interest of members, saying “GNAT has fought to protect the basic rights of teachers since 1958 which has contributed to the unity, tenacity of purpose, solidarity and commitment in the teachers’ front.”

He urged the leadership of the GNAT, both at the national and local levels, to help identify and tackle the changing needs of teachers to motivate them to work hard and improve on the quality of education in the country.

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