The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) held its 51st National Delegates’ Conference in Accra, Ghana, on 5-10 January. Delegates discussed and adopted a five-year strategic plan to further improve the standing of the teaching profession in the country.
Among the goals set by the conference are a greater access of GNAT membership to professional development and a comprehensive web-based teachers’ resource facility. Both tools will contribute significantly to high academic standards.
Delegates also debated the future of the teaching profession and the impact of the global financial crisis on the education sector.
The conference was opened by the President of the Republic, John Dramani Mahama, who thanked GNAT for its important contribution to the development of the country. He underlined that Ghana has reached most of the Education for All targets, even if in remote parts of the country there are still children without access to schooling.
Mahama expressed gratitude for his own teachers, citing them by name, and saying how he went "through their hands during my school years and thanks to whom I can address you today as the president of the country".
Mahama's speech at the 51st GNAT National Delegates’ Conference:
Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, Ghana’s education minister, also spoke to the conference. She said that while much progress has been made, some concerns still remain about teachers' absenteeism, and called on GNAT to work together with the ministry to find solutions.
EI General Secretary, Fred van Leeuwen, invited GNAT to actively engage in Education International's Unite for Quality Education initiative. He also commended the organisation for spearheading Early Childhood Education work in Western Africa.
Van Leeuwen thanked Irene Duncan-Adanusa, who will step down as General Secretary of GNAT, for having succeeded to bring the teachers' cause to the top of the country's political agenda. He also commended her for her work as EI Vice President for Africa, in which position she will continue.