The Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Chairman for National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Martin Asare, has cautioned teachers to refrain from indulging in relationships with students, in order not to fall foul of the law.
He said the harassment of girls at both basic and senior high levels was becoming an issue bothering administrators of schools and said that ignorance was no excuse of the punishment that awaited such teachers.
He stated that the law was very clear on the punishment of a teacher or anybody who defiled a student (girl) be it at the basic or senior high school level and no teacher union could step in to defend what he described as an immoral activity.
Mr Asare, who is a teacher at Akuse Methodist Senior High Technical School (AMEST), was addressing his colleagues at the seventh Manya Krobo Teachers Welfare Delegates Conference at Odumase- Krobo last Thursday, on the theme: “Welfare of a teacher, the concern of teacher unions”.
“Colleague teachers let me make it very clear to you that the three teacher unions: NAGRAT, Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), and Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) are to fight for the rights of the teachers with regard to the conditions of service of the employer, the Ghana Education Service (GES), and not to defend, especially rape and defilement cases that the teachers should know are immoral acts punishable by law,” the NAGRAT chairman emphasised.
He cautioned the teachers that the female students these days were very wise and took videos of things that the teachers did with them in the closet and displayed them on social media to disgrace the teacher, asking, “why should a teacher stoop so low for a student girl?’’.
He said a case in point confronting one of the teacher unions in the Eastern Region currently had to do with the defilement of a girl, where the girl secretly took a video of what she did with the teacher. “How can any teacher union defend this when the unions are not above the law?” he asked.
New executives were elected and sworn in for the next three years. They included Chairman, Eben Kwaku Fenuku; Vice Chairman, Vincent Danso Kwao; Secretary, Ama Afrakumah; Assistant Secretary, Patrick Atsu Adanu; Financial Secretary, Joseph Kenney Dangmor; Trustee, Samuel Kpabitey and the Treasurer, Shirley Ayerkie Anim.
The NAGRAT chairman also raised concern about the way the employer of teachers, the GES, was handling the promotion of teachers, which he said was unfair.
He explained that the promotion of a teacher to the next rank took about two years, which amounted to cheating, as two years back pay would be off.
The Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Simon Kweku Tetteh, said teachers had contributed immensely to the socio-economic development of the nation and that was why the current government was not reneging on its commitment to address the welfare issues of teachers such as teacher upgrading, recent promotion challenges, allowances and other concerns of teachers in the country.
The MCE, who is also a teacher, commended the teachers in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality for instituting a teachers’ welfare fund to address their financial needs instead of relying on the government alone.
He said when teachers came together and pooled their resources together for welfare schemes, it prevented them from subjecting themselves to loan operators, who usually cheated with very high interest rates.
The Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Director of Education, Samuel Kweku Tettey, appealed to the teachers to take their welfare as well as their health issues seriously as they stayed in the service.
The chairman for the occasion, Dr Nene Sipim Narh Tekpertey II of the Lomodje Clan of Akromuase, described teachers as the pivot around which the other 15 Sustainable Development Goals could be achieved.
He, therefore, entreated the GES, the employer of teachers, and the government, to ensure they saw to their welfare needs to make them happy to perform in the classrooms.