Women’s Committee of Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) is calling on government to pay attention to non-teaching staff and improve their service conditions.
The leadership argues it is in line with the Sustainable development Goal (SDG) on equitable inclusive and quality education.
Chairman, Johanna Hammond, addressed the Seventh Quadrennial Delegates’ Conference which also marks the 60th anniversary of TEWU.
The Women’s Committee session is a prelude to the main conference which is TEWU’s 12th Quadrennial Delegates Conference slated for Wednesday, August 28 with elections to be held on Friday, August 30 for new national officers.
Besides the election of new officers, the forum is discussing better working conditions of services.
Leadership describes as worrying consistent emphasis on curriculum development, teacher and staff motivation and infrastructure at the expense of the welfare of non-teaching staff.
“It is observed that government emphasis on curriculum, teacher and staff motivation, accessibility, infrastructure etc, as a solution to quality teaching and learning.
Quiet unfortunate, they forget about the importance and indispensable role of non-teaching staff especially the women who play dual responsibilities of mothers and workers.”
Madam Johanna Hammond continues that the services of all categories of workers in the educational sector are required in the classroom, offices, home and community.
“The services of the non-teaching staff should not be disregarded because they complement the work of teachers and to the development of teachers.
Quality education will hamper if the role of non-teaching staff are not recognized because they form an integral part of the educational system and their services are indispensable in the quest for quality education in Ghana.”
She, therefore, pleaded that “In the light of this, I entreat the government and head of institutions to have positive mindset to the non-teaching staff since they form an integral part of the educational system.”
The theme for the celebration is, “60 Years of TEWU’s Contribution to the Development of Equitable, Inclusive and Quality Education Delivery in Ghana: The Role of Women’’.
Madam Hammond also reiterated the need for government to pay attention to the conditions of service of both teaching and non-teaching staff in the educational institutions.
As employees of the educational institutions and workers in the public sector, she called on the government to address issues of concern such as;
“Critical support premium, the backlog of promotions, increasing workload of the implementations of SHS double track, delay in recruiting more non-teaching staff, implementation of the second-tier pension, and utility crisis which is at stake.”
Senior Lecturer at Private Law Department at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Dr Renee Morhe, want leadership to step up advocacy for its members.
She cited education opportunities to enable them learn best practices needed for a competitive field.
“As a union, you should contribute to lobby especially with development partners for more opportunities for pre-service and in-service training for union members at the workplace including opportunities abroad in order to learn best practices needed to be competitive in this fast-changing global world.
It is important to be upgraded to be better placed to gain enough confidence to work alongside men and be taken seriously. Never be satisfied with your current position.”
Dr Morhe also called for an intensified effort to promote of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, especially, among girls.
“As women, promoting girls education must be your strategy and development priority. You need to push further the agenda of women.”
The United Nations have noted that “better-educated women, turn to be healthier, participate more in the formal labour market, earn a higher income, have fewer children, marry at a latter age and enable better healthcare and education for their children if they choose to become mothers”.
Officials of Education International Africa Region (EIRAF) and the African Women in Education Network (AWEN) were special guests at the conference.
EL-Gender Coordinator for Africa Region, Anaise Dayamba, mentioned the important role of the women’s committee of TEWU can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Education International and the African Women in Education Network, in particular, are glad that the women delegates are given the opportunity to further their reflection on the role that women are expected to play in the structures of TEWU to help the union contribute to the achievement of the SDG4 and SDG5”.
She observes that the road to achieving gender parity and reducing all forms of gender inequalities in education continues to be long and twisting.
Of course, there are achievements, but the battle for gender equality continues as we are still far from our targets.
“Therefore, as female educators and unionists, it is important that we get involved in the efforts to achieve SDG 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all as well as SDG 5 – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030,” she added.
Meanwhile, stakeholders urge members to exhibit professionalism in contributing to education delivery.
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