Over 250,000 trained teachers, who are members of the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT), have called for an upward revision of their salaries above the eight percent recently proposed by Government.
According to the teachers, they also want the base pay of other public workers to be raised above Government’s proposed eight percent.
“We consider Government’s attempt to implement the said eight percent increase very unfortunate and economically irrelevant especially in the wake of recent increases in utility prices, taxes, petroleum tariffs, and a depreciation of the cedi without corresponding or appreciable increases in salaries of teachers.”
Ernest Opoku, President of CCT, who disclosed this at a press conference yesterday in Accra, said “If the current economic conditions persist, the quality of education Ghanaians espouse to will never be achieved.”
He said Government’s inability to renegotiate the base pay as at August 2013 was making life unbearable for Ghanaian workers.
Mr Opoku also expressed displeasure with government’s failure to release capitation grants and other subventions to schools on time.
He said undue delay in the payment of such commitments was negatively affecting the smooth running of schools.
“As we speak, Government has not been able to release the 2012/2013 Capitation Grants for basic schools,” he revealed, adding that the situation has made it difficult for heads of basic schools to perform.
He stated that the non-payment of subventions to the district directorates of education had practically made circuit supervisors unable to perform their responsibilities as far as monitoring and supervision of teachers are concerned.
“We believe that if we want to develop as a nation, then issues of education should be prioritized, else the future prospect of building the human resource capacity of the nation would be bleak,” Opoku said.
He categorically indicated that “if the needed resources are not provided by the time school re-opens, we will advise ourselves.”
On Government’s decision to scrap allowances given to teacher trainees, he noted: “A careful analysis of the proposed policy suggests to us that any attempt by Government to stop the allowances given to teacher trainees will make an already bad situation worse.”
Furthermore, Mr Opoku said the proposed policy would invariably demoralize Ghanaians who would want to venture into the teaching profession.
“We cannot sit back and allow policy makers to toy with our educational system.”
He therefore urged Government to expand facilities in all the 38 colleges of education in the country to help them attain full tertiary status.