World Teachers’ Day: GNAT urges educators to renew commitment

Accra, Oct 05, GNA - Mr Thomas Musah, the General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), has asked teachers to renew their commitment to the profession.

Mr Musah, who wished teachers a happy World Teachers’ Day (WTD), noted that "Without a teacher, we cannot have a nation; … we have civilised societies, communities and nations all as a result of teachers."

Mr Musah said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra in commemoration of this year’s WTD.

UNESCO says the “day provides the occasion to celebrate the teaching profession worldwide, take stock of achievements, and draw attention to the voices of teachers, who are at the heart of efforts to attain the global education target of leaving no one behind.“

Since 1994, teachers celebrate the day to commemorate the anniversary of the adoption of the 1996 ILO/UNESCO Recommendations concerning the Status of Teachers.

The “Recommendations set benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions.“

“The Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel was adopted in 1997 to complement the 1966 Recommendation by covering teaching and research personnel in higher education.

The day, among other things, is used to mark progress being made in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal four on education, and the dedicated target (SDG 4.c) recognizing teachers as key to the achievement of the Education 2030 agenda.

The global theme for this year’s celebration is “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future”.

In a joint statement, UNESCO, ILO, UNICEF and Education International said "In this crisis, teachers have shown, as they have done so often, great leadership and innovation in ensuring that #LearningNeverStops, that no learner is left behind.

“Around the world, they have worked individually and collectively to find solutions and create new learning environments for their students to allow education to continue. Their role in advising on school reopening plans and supporting students with the return to school is just as important.”

They said “COVID-19 pandemic has significantly added to the challenges faced by already over-extended education systems throughout the world.

“It is no exaggeration to say that the world is at a crossroads and, now more than ever, we must work with teachers to protect the right to education and guide it into the unfolding landscape brought about by the pandemic.

"On this particular day of the World Teachers' Day, we call on all teachers to rededicate ourselves to our call and the profession to which we all belong to.

"So, that we can all work to improve the image of the profession to ensure that generations yet unborn when asked or given the opportunity regarding the professions that they would want to take upon themselves, they would certainly say teaching and teaching would always be the first option for them," Mr Musah said.

He asked the employer, particularly the Government, to provide the tools, equipment, compensation and the right kind of environment for effective teaching and learning.

Mr Musah said teachers should also be motivated in human resource management outcomes and asked stakeholders to address outstanding issues confronting teachers in the country, such as salary arrears, compensations, upgrading and issues of study leave.

"We call upon the GES and the Ministry of Education to ensure that all concerns of our teachers including those that I have mentioned are addressed to ensure that teachers do their best."

Mr Musah said: "Regarding the children, we will do whatever we can within our power and our knowledge and our competency to ensure that they grow up to become responsible people to themselves and to mother Ghana and the entire world."

He said it was in the interest of teachers to work together to ensure that the country succeeded.

On the December 7 General Election, Mr Musah called on teachers, who would be involved in the conduct of the election as Returning Officers to discharge such services with the unity of the country as their priority.