General News of Friday, 20 January 2017
Finance Minister-designate Ken Ofori-Atta has said if he is given the nod by the Appointments Committee in parliament to become a substantive minister, there will be a departure from the problem where teachers and nurses work for two years or more before they receive their salaries.
According to him, education plays a crucial part of the government’s agenda for economic growth and development and, therefore, the teacher who improves the human resource capacity of the country will not be “shortchanged” under his authority as Finance Minister.
“Newly trained teachers for about two years or more have a problem with their salaries. Are we going to have a departure from this?” a member of the Appointments Committee and Member of Parliament for Tema East, Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover, asked Mr Ofori-Atta when he appeared before the committee on Friday January 20.
In response, Mr Ofori-Atta said: “The straight answer is yes, because we have, even in our own manifesto, committed to the payment of trainee nurses and trainee teachers and there are about 120,000 of them and that we intend to restore the GHS400 to GHS500 a month when they are in school. Education is such a crucial part of where we want to go as a country and I don’t think we can begin to shortchange teachers who then improve the human resource capacity that we have so we’ll do all we can to ensure that the social contract that we have with teachers will be maintained.”
Teachers and nurses have over the years complained about the non-payment of salaries years after they have been posted by the Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Health to various districts to begin work. They say the situation has made the profession unattractive for up and coming ones.