GNAT explains why Prof. Stephen Adei is their “tormentor-in-chief” 

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has descended heavily on Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) describing him as “tormentor-in-chief” of teachers in the Ghana.

The attack on the NDPC Chair comes in a milieu of Prof. Adei’s proposal that teachers be made to forgo 50 percent of their salaries for staying home during this period of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

A statement released on Wednesday and signed by Thomas T. Musah, General Secretary for GNAT said Professor Adei has the penchant for attacking teachers, sometimes under very spurious and bizarre circumstances and that his call was to instigate the Ghanaian society against teachers.

“We wish to stress that this is not the first time Professor Adei has turned his radar on our teachers. Knowing Professor Adei for who he is, we deem his call for the 50 percent reduction of salaries of teachers as an attempt to instigate the greater society against teachers and cause disaffection for them.

Teachers are not the cause of the Coronavirus and all the challenges it has brought in its trail; like all other segments of society, teachers are victims of circumstances, and must not be punished by a phenomenon they did not originate, as the garrulous Professor seeks to do,” the statement read.

The teacher union observed its members were not above criticism but will always defend themselves when others attempt to attack and cause disaffection against them.
The association said, “We hereby do reiterate, that as professionals, teachers are not above criticism. However, when someone consistently subjects teachers to insults and ridicule, berate and set us up for attacks and create disaffection for us, as does Professor Adei, constantly on the electronic and social media platforms, then we have no option than to defend ourselves and safeguard our reputation.

We wish to state that we won’t accept any repugnant and offensive expressions on our persons or families. We shall continue to accept constructive, and morale-boosting criticisms and not reprehensible, offensive and degrading ones. Let all know that we take exception to verbal attacks, and any pronouncements or policies meant to denigrate our persons or the teaching profession.”

The Ghana National Association of Teachers further condemned and cautioned it would not countenance such verbal attacks on teachers from Professor Adei and others henceforth.

“We therefore condemn in no uncertain terms the utterances of Professor Adei, and hereby remind all those who take delight in inflicting such verbal and physical pain on teachers and the teaching profession to note that Ghanaian teachers have at all material times been mindful of Article 41 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, which enjoins Ghanaians to be each other’s keeper. This however, should not be misconstrued as weaknesses on their part.They should therefore be accorded the necessary honour and respect due them.”

The largest pre-tertiary teacher union said it is however relieved, that the Ministry of Education came out swiftly with a statement, “to tell Professor Adei and all who think like him, that it isn’t teachers who called for the schools to shut, and can therefore not be made to suffer the 50 percent drop in their salaries, the period the shut remains in place.

We are happy the Ministry of Education has told the Professor Emeritus of Ashesi University, Chairman of the NDPC, and Chief Executive of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), that teachers have not said they are unwilling to return to the classrooms to teach.”

It would be recalled that the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced the closure of schools across the country, apart from final years from March 16, 2020 after the Ghana recorded her first two cases of COVID-19 on March 12.

Final years in the Junior and Senior High Schools followed suit the following week and public sector teachers have been at home ever since but paid at the end of every month.

By Francis Tandoh || 

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