The government will this year pay all the outstanding allowances and salary arrears of teachers, including the 74, 885 staff of Ghana Education Service (GES).
Additionally, the payment of promotion arrears of 12,097 teachers and the payment of salaries of 19,877 newly recruited teachers will all be cleared by the government.
The Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, said this in a speech read on his behalf at the 1st Quadrennial Congress of the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) held at the Pentecost Convention Centre at Kasoa in the Central Region last Friday.
According to the minister, provisions for the payment of the allowances, promotion and salary arrears of all teachers have been made in the 2017 budget.
“Car maintenance, drivers overtime, guide allowance, transport allowance for disabled teachers and transfer grants which have been in arrears since 2013 will all be paid this year,” Dr Prempeh said.
The move, he said, was part of the government’s commitment to avoid the recurrence of the accumulation of allowances that could trigger industrial strikes and affect the work of teachers in the discharge of their duties.
Dr Prempeh’s speech was read on his behalf by the acting Deputy Director of Quality and Access at the GES, Mrs Felicia Boakye Yiadom.
Outlining some of the programmes the government intended to put in place to enhance the teaching profession, Dr Prempeh said professional development programmes for teachers would be rolled out soon.
“Under this initiative, the National Teaching Council will be resourced to roll out the licensing of teachers. This will enhance the professional status and image of teachers,” he said.
Dr Prempeh added that his ministry would continue to engage teacher unions and other stakeholders to ensure that no teacher was disadvantaged when the policy was finally rolled out.
He also said his ministry would soon begin the dialogue to roll out an affordable housing scheme for all teachers in the country.
“I assure you that over the next four years, the government will remain responsive to these responsibilities in order to create a conducive environment for teachers to discharge their duties,” he added.
Dr Prempeh, therefore, stressed the need for teachers unions to galvanise their membership to support the government’s agenda of improving education quality.
Explaining the motive behind the congress, the President of CCT, Mr King Ali Awudu, said it was to elect the governing council of the association considering the fact that all previous leaders had been acting since the formation of CCT in 2013.
“The congress was also to create the platform for members of CCT to discuss issues relating to the welfare of the teachers and come up with measures to address them,” he said.
Mr Awudu, who becomes the first President to have been elected during the congress, said his outfit was ready to partner the government to address challenges that affect the wellbeing of teachers in the country.
He also commended the government for the programmes it intended to implement to motivate teachers, particularly the affordable housing scheme.
“This will go a long way to help us, considering the fact that teachers spend a chunk of their salaries on the payment of rent,” he added.
Some of the executive members who were elected at the congress were Enock Abrokwa, the Vice President; Mr Herbert Ako Forson, the General Secretary, and his deputy, Mr Patrick Nii Sackey; Mr John Duffour, Treasurer; Mr Godfred Sepenu, Organiser, and Ms Vida Sapabel, women’s commissioner.
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