The call by Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education, for an extension of the basic schools normal 14.00hours closing time to 16.00 hours is an issue of huge financial cost implications on the government.
Mr. David Ofori Acheampong, the General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), expressed the concern in reference to the Education Minister’s suggestion for an extension of teaching and learning time at a recent National Education Sector Review forum held in Accra.
This, he explained, was because that additional two hours was presently not in their collective bargaining agreement and if it could be formulated and implemented as a policy by the Education Ministry, then the Government must first engage stakeholders like GNAT and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to work out appropriate additional allowances for teachers.
For now it remains a proposal and there is therefore the need to subject it to a national debate or discussion to consider the merits and demerits of it, he said.
Mr. Acheampong was addressing the closing ceremony of a five-day residential information communication technology (ICT) training workshop organised by the GNAT under the GNATech-ICT Project on Friday in Sunyani.
The programme, participated by 50 male and 50 female teachers from schools in deprived communities in the Brong-Ahafo Region was fully-sponsored by the Association.
It is a yearly event on regional basis and the seventh of it kind since 2011 while the Upper West, Upper East and the Volta Regions were yet to be covered.
It aimed at developing and sharpening the ICT skills of the participants to facilitate effective teaching and learning of the subject.
On the training, Mr. Acheampong expressed satisfaction that by it GNAT had achieved one of its cardinal objectives of improving the professional competencies of members.
He stated that enhancing the professional skills of GNAT members should have been the responsibility of the Ghana Education Service (GES), their employer, but since GNAT is a professional Association it was considered appropriate to undertake that course.
Mr. Acheampong advised the participants to impart the knowledge acquired to their colleagues who did not get the chance to participate for the benefit of the school children.
Madam Philippa Larsen, the national President of GNAT entreated them to be stimulated by the workshop to work even harder to improve the general academic performance of their respective schools.