The Ghana National Association of Teachers, (GNAT), has over the weekend, launched a book Titled: ‘GNAT Standpoint on Education’, as its contribution to country’s quest to achieve quality public education.
Delivering a welcome address, Ms. Philippa Larsen, National President of GNAT who doubles as the Chairperson for the occasion, explained that the book is based on the Association’s belief that, a strong foundation is needed at the pre-tertiary education sector to propel the country to achieve the quality education delivery that it deserves.
According to her, a painstaking analysis of education in Ghana was done in order to solicit the views of renowned international institutions and organisations in education such as; the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the International Institution for Educational Planning (ILEP), among several others.
“The GNAT Standpoint is meant to serve as a reference point for Governments, Political Parties, Donor Agencies and all those who wish to know the position of teachers and educational Workers on matters relating to quality Pre-tertiary education in Ghana.” Ms. Philippa Larsen said.
The book represents the Association’s views on quality Pre-tertiary education delivery and strategies to be adopted by all stakeholders towards its achievement.
It is also to trigger a social dialogue on educational policy formulation in the country.
This forms part of the Association’s contribution to resolving issues which mitigate against quality Pre-tertiary education delivery in Ghana.
The GNAT President used the opportunity to draw the attention of Government to the extra burden imposed on Heads and teachers in Senior High Schools, Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVETs) institutions and hard to-reach Basic Schools across the country.
For instance, some teachers are compelled to teach on both Gold and Green tracks which wears them down.
Launching the book on behalf of the National Executives, National Officers, Regional Chairmen, District Chairmen, all Committee Members and Staff of GNAT, Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Adow Obeng, President of the Presbyterian University College and a former Vice chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, drew the attention of the audience to the fact that successive Governments have really recognised the importance of education in the life of the nation and so we have had series of policies aimed at making education relevant to the beneficiaries in the social, industrial and technological development of Ghana.
He also noted that the book holds a huge promise to the development of Pre-tertiary education in our country and it should be carefully read by all professionals and stakeholders of education who are genuinely concerned and committed to quality Pre-tertiary education that would ensure a progressive future for the country.
“I am recommending a dispassionate study of this document and a positive approach to the implementation of the recommendations,” Prof Adow Obeng stated.
Taking his turn, the reviewer of the book, Prof. Dominic Mensah of the University of Education Winneba (UEW) took the audience through the book in detail.
He observed that his careful and thorough review of the book revealed that it has been well researched and lucidly written and draws extensively on both primary and secondary relevant data that is relevant to education and social issues.
He also noted that the book covers in all, 5 chapters which focuses on major thematic areas of education that are of concern to GNAT and its members. These thematic areas, according to him, include:
• Quality Pre-Tertiary Education in Ghana.
• Comprehensive Early Childhood Care and Education.
• Teacher Recruitment, Development, Management and Retention.
• Education in Emergency/Crisis Situations.
• Social Interventions in Pre-Tertiary Education in Ghana.
In summary, the reviewer asserted that the release of the document is timely, especially at a time when Ghana is seeking to reform the Pre-tertiary education, teacher education and to improve upon access and quality.
He therefore commended GNAT for putting such a useful document together which puts forward the views of teachers and also offers cogent practical and thoughtful suggestions on how quality education could be achieved.
“It is my fervent hope that all stakeholders in the education sector will seriously consider the bold suggestions and proposals put forward by GNAT in this document and act accordingly” Prof Mensah urged.