The Ministry of Education (MoE), Ghana Education Service (GES) and teacher unions have come to an agreement for teachers to be provided with laptops for assessment work, with teachers paying 30 percent of the cost; but some concerned teachers are calling for the mother association, the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), to absorb the fee for its members.
With the advent of COVID-19 and introduction of the new curriculum by GES, it has become necessary for stakeholders to engage in order to provide better teaching and learning materials; and to support blended physical and digital education service delivery in the schools.
In view of this, an agreement to secure laptops for teachers on a cost-sharing basis was adopted with the GES paying the greater part, 70 percent, and the other 30 percent paid by the teachers – which will be spread over a period of time and deducted from their salary.
According to the teacher group, the agreement between the employer, GES, and the teacher unions is an innovative intervention in an era of COVID-19 pandemic. However, teachers – and for that matter, GNAT members – have been affected by the pandemic and must be assisted by the welfare fund according to the GNAT constitution.
“There is no doubt that this intervention is very innovative in an era of COVID-19, when digitisation of teaching and learning has become necessary and a priority to stakeholders of education in the country. It is agreed by every GNAT member that GNAT as an association be requested to make payment for the 30 percent portion of the laptop agreement from the Association’s account.
“This is grounded on the Article 3(b), 3(d) of the GNAT Constitution, which seeks to promote the interest of members and secure for them attractive conditions of service that may retain them in the teaching profession; and to provide internal economic and other appropriate and relevant welfare services to members,” said concerned GNAT member, Jonathan T. P.
He added that since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the steps outlined by authorities to manage the pandemic, teachers and for that matter GNAT-members have only received one bottle of sanitiser and two pieces of reusable nose masks for the period of one year; therefore, meeting the laptops’ cost is not far-fetched.
Connecting their request to provisions of the constitution, the group said: “The constitution’s position for GNAT on welfare services provided to its members informs us to advocate that GNAT uses part of our dues to defray or absorb the 30 percent cost-sharing of the laptop agreement between MoE/GES and the Teacher Unions.”