Platform for Elite Teachers Against NAGRAT Nationwide Strike.
The Upper West Regional branch of the Platform for Elite Teachers (PET) has kicked against the medium that NAGRAT and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers intend to use to solve the grievances of teachers. Read the press release below.
A PRESS CONFERENCE IN PROTEST OF INTENDED NATIONWIDE TEACHERS STRIKE
Having added our voice to this humble appeal, we however outrightly condemn the use of the intended demonstrations and nationwide strike to be embarked by NAGRAT and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Association of Ghana, as a conduit to drawing governments attention to the Plight of teachers.Our brothers and sisters from the media fraternity, beloved colleagues from the ancient noble profession of teaching, ladies and gentlemen, the Upper West Regional branch of the Platform for Elite Teachers (PET) wishes to use this forum to express our disapproval of the medium that leadership of NAGRAT and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers intend to use to solve the grievances of teachers.
Our disapproval follows recent threats of demonstrations and a nationwide strike action issued to Government by both the leadership of NAGRAT and a representation of the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Association of Ghana.
Ladies and gentlemen, PET appreciates the efforts of the leadership of the various teacher unions in fighting for the welfare of teachers across the country, conscious of the fact that, the role of the teacher in the development of every educational sector around the world is pivotal. We perfectly agree with the leaders of the teacher unions that government should not downplay the relevance of issues regarding the welfare of teachers, since that can be tantamount to endorsing mediocrity in the education sector.
Ladies and gentlemen, as teachers ourselves, we call on government to expedite action on settling all problems surrounding the second-tier pension of the Ghana Education Service staff, we also add our voices to calls on government to abolish the three months arrears payment policy and continue with sound programmes that will improve the efficiency of the ordinary teacher in the classroom, such as the free laptop computers policy.
We premise our dispassion to the choice by the leadership of NAGRAT and CCTAG on the fact that, strike actions have never been beneficial to teachers or the children whom we profess to help built into responsible leaders.
Fellow Ghanaians, we are also disappointed at the leadership of NAGRAT and CCTAG for choosing to go striking at this crucial moments that, our own children we have spent several years in sacrifices to train are writing their WASSCE and soon to be followed by BECE next month. This is the time ladies and gentlemen, that our children need us most, to shepherd them to the moments of flying colours. The big questions we ask are: where was leadership all this while when we were not near writing Exams. Why do they choose at this crucial moment to visit our precious children with the unnecessary trauma of finishing their preparations for exams without teachers? Fellow Ghanaians where shall our pride be when we leave these innocent children to the bad fate of obvious failure whilst chasing after emoluments and entitlements? Is it not the case that teachers can still have our grievances addressed without necessarily embarking on strikes in the name of pushing government to hear our plea?
Ladies and gentlemen, it is an unadulterated fact that whenever teachers embark on strike, the repercussions are onerous not only on government and pupils but on teachers as well. Teachers go through hectic time in trying to cover their syllabi and meet the required work output in terms of class exercises. These strains at work are usually caused by leadership’s inability to enter into any beneficial negotiations with government than rushing into declaring nationwide strikes.
For us in the Upper West Region, more important is the experience that, previous strike actions have always resulted in massive failure among our children.
Recognizing that in the Upper West Region several schools scored a zero percent in last year’s BECE, we are calling on all our colleague teachers to show some compassion to the children put under our care by staying in the classrooms at these difficult times, whilst leadership of the various teacher unions work with government to address our grievances.
We therefore urge the union leaders to get back to negotiations with government as a preferred option rather than unilaterally declaring a nationwide strike without adequately consulting the constituents they represent.
On this note, PET would wish to state clearly that, we prefer alternative strategies such as negotiations, lobbying and consensus building to resolving the grievances of teachers than strikes and demonstrations. We therefore call passionately on the leadership of NAGRAT and the Concerned Teachers Coalition to use those tools.
In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, we would want to make it known that in the spirit of patriotism and compassion for the innocent Ghanaian children, we disassociate ourselves from the intended demonstrations and strikes. We however urge government to expedite action in resolving the challenges facing teachers. Thank you.
(Spokes person for PET, U/W/R.)