The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) of Nandom Local has elected new local executives to steer the affairs of the association for the next two years.
The event was held as part of GNAT’s 90th celebration, on the theme ‘Surviving as a reliable and vibrant teacher union in the 21st century’.
Speaking at the event, the guest speaker, Mr Millu Maurice, a retired educationist, asked members to hold a minute of silence for pioneering GNAT members and other teachers who passed on.
“Before GNAT, the plight of teachers was very demoralising. The teaching profession was not encouraging and teachers had no voice and no bargaining power”, he said.
He explained further that the formation of GNAT has ameliorated the plight of teachers and has given them the bargaining certificate to negotiate better conditions of service for members.
“GNAT is now the mouthpiece of teachers,” he added.
Mr Millu advised the newly elected executives to be “knowledgeable in conflict resolution, vibrant, reliable and committed to the work”.
The representative of the Nandom Municipal Director of Education, Mr Paul Kpaatig challenged teachers to read the country’s constitution and that of GNAT.
“Most teachers are not conversant with the union’s (GNAT) constitution and that of the country. As teachers, we should strive to read these two constitutions so that we can make informed choices and demand for what is due us,” he said.
Mr. Paul also challenged GNAT executives to organise orientation programmes for newly trained teachers who are posted to the municipality.
“This year, 158 newly trained teachers have been posted to the municipality but 136 reported to duty. Organising an orientation by GNAT for these newly trained teachers will help them make informed choices as to which union to join.”
Alhaji Baba Kassim, the Upper West Regional GNAT Secretary, congratulated the newly elected executives and challenged them to focus on the task ahead.
He said, “Nandom is a special area in the Upper West Region. Nandom has produced prominent doctors, lawyers, pilots, educationists and a host of others. So, therefore, as teachers, we should do our best and live up to expectation.”
In his maiden address, the GNAT Local Chairman, Mr Jerome A. B. Danuor, on behalf of all elected executives, thanked the members for electing them.
“On behalf of all the elected executives, I wish to assure all members that we are going to work hand in hand for the common good of the union,” he said.