Hon. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, The Education Minister, has come out to expressed sympathy Ghanaian teachers striking over issues that they have complained about on many occasions without any positive response.
This teachers’ industrial action or strike have been long overdue and government must blame itself for failing to be proactive and solution-driven rather than reactive in decision making. The signs were on the wall yet they refused to see.
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Teachers Industrial Strike Action and NAPO’s Turn Around Posture
The turn around posture of the minister to show sympathy is not only hypocritical but laughable. If it is meant to begin an effort to make teachers go back to the classroom, it will not fly.
He has come out to assure teaches that government is working to address their concerns. The question we ask is, must the government and the minister lay back unconcerned for several months and appeals by teachers before they come out to show concern? What happened to the proactive way of resolving issues by the leadership of the ministry and government?
To have come out to say the strike is justified is enough evidence that, the government is not serious with the Ghanaian teacher and places less value on the need to act promptly to ensure they are treated with dignity and respect.
The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Teachers Industrial Strike Action
The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) last week embarked on a strike over unpaid salary arrears and delayed promotions and now the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has also joined the strike.
The leadership of the various teacher unions has become very powerful and proactive. They are this time now not mincing words and that is the kind of leadership teachers have always expected their leaders to show.
The government must sit up and address the issues tabled by the teachers or the academic work of students and pupils will hang for a very long time.
The Education Minister and the Teachers Strike Action
The minister is hoping a quick resolution can be reached. The biggest mistake teacher unions will do is to go back to the drawing table or the negotiation table without a solution to the problems. This action must continue unabated to compel the government to act now.
“The teacher agitation is founded. If you are a teacher and you are recruited but for one year, you have not been put on the salary scale I can understand. You and I will do the same.”-Mathew Opoku Prempeh.
“We hope that great sense of commitment to the nation will prevail and we can talk to the teachers to go back to the classroom…When I worked as a junior doctor, it was six months before my salary came and it is not right. We have to get it right.”
The National Labour Commission (NLC) has stepped into the labour dispute, directed NAGRAT to appear before it on Wednesday, September 11.
However, NAGRAT President, Angel Carbonu in an interview with Citi News called the (NLC) posture a bluff arguing that the Commission had no locus to haul the association before it.
The Ministry of Education had called on the NAGRAT members to exercise restraint in its strike action and re-engage with the government to find solutions to its problems.
When will the newly declared teachers strike action end? Only time will tell.
Source: Wisdom Eli Kojo Hammond