Teacher Unions Demand Inclusion of Education Priorities in Party Manifestoes

Teacher unions in Ghana have called for a significant shift in the country’s political landscape by demanding the inclusion of education priorities in party manifestoes. With education being the cornerstone of national development, these unions are pushing for a more robust commitment from political parties to address the longstanding challenges facing the education sector.

The request comes at a critical moment as Ghana, along with many other countries, is still dealing with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has further shown the weaknesses in the country’s educational system. Comprehensive reforms are urgently needed since problems including the digital divide, teacher shortages, poor infrastructure, and a lack of teaching materials have gotten worse.

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT), among others, have united in their advocacy efforts to ensure that education remains a top priority on the national agenda. They argue that political parties must go beyond mere lip service and make tangible commitments to address the systemic challenges facing teachers and students across the country.

The provision of sufficient funding for infrastructural improvements and the provision of necessary teaching and learning resources is one of the main demands made by the teacher unions. Basic amenities including classrooms, libraries, and labs are lacking in many rural and underprivileged schools, which makes it more difficult to conduct effective teaching and learning. The quality of education provided at these institutions is further worsened by the lack of textbooks and other teaching resources.

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Furthermore, the unions are advocating for measures to address the chronic issue of teacher shortages and the need for continuous professional development. Ghana continues to face a shortfall in qualified teachers, particularly in critical subject areas such as mathematics, science, and special education. The recruitment and retention of competent educators, coupled with ongoing training and support, are essential to enhancing the quality of teaching and learning outcomes nationwide.

In light of the digital transformation sweeping across the globe, the teacher unions are also calling for policies to bridge the digital divide and ensure equitable access to technology-enabled learning opportunities. The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the importance of digital literacy and online learning platforms, yet many students in Ghana lack access to computers, internet connectivity, and relevant digital resources. Addressing this disparity is crucial to preparing students for the demands of the 21st-century workforce.

In addition to these immediate priorities, the teacher unions are advocating for a holistic approach to education reform that addresses broader issues such as curriculum review, assessment practices, inclusive education, and teacher welfare. They emphasize the need for sustained collaboration between government, policymakers, educators, parents, and other stakeholders to chart a path forward that prioritizes the needs of students and teachers alike.

As Ghana prepares for the upcoming elections, the demands of the teacher unions serve as a timely reminder of the critical role that education plays in shaping the country’s future. By integrating education priorities into their manifestoes, political parties have an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to improving the lives of Ghanaian citizens through quality education. It is imperative that education be placed at the forefront of national development agendas, as it serves as the foundation upon which all other sectors thrive. Only through collective action and unwavering dedication can Ghana achieve its vision of a prosperous and inclusive society built on a solid educational foundation. Speaking on The Pulse on Joy News via zoom, the NAGRAT president explained further their decision.

Watch the video below:

Video credit: Joy News

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