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The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has reacted to Prof Stephen Adei’s call for a 50% slash in the salary of teachers who have been home because schools have been shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While commenting on whether or not schools should be reopened and the way forward in the educational sector amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Professor Emeritus of Ashesi University said on an Accra-based radio station that teachers must be ready to waive half of their salaries if they want to continue staying at home.
Reacting to this, GNAT, in a statement, said Prof Adei’s call is an attempt to instigate the society against teachers.
According to the teachers, it is no fault of theirs that they remain home and should not be punished for something they have no control over.
“Knowing Professor Adei for who he is, we deem his call for the 50% reduction of salaries of teachers as an attempt to instigate the greater society against teachers and cause disaffection for them, but then, it won’t wash! Teachers are not the cause of the coronavirus and all the challenges it has brought in its trail; like all other segments of society, teachers are victims of circumstances, and must not be punished by a phenomenon they did not originate, as the garrulous Professor seeks to do,” GNAT said in a statement.
GNAT further said although teachers are not above criticism, when someone consistently subjects them to insults and ridicule, as well as berates and sets them up for attack and creates disaffection for them, “as does Professor Adei constantly on the electronic and social media platforms”, then they have no option than to defend themselves and safeguard their reputation.
“We wish to state that we won’t accept any repugnant and offensive expressions on our persons or families. We shall continue to accept constructive, and morale-boosting criticisms and not reprehensible, offensive and degrading ones. Let all know that we take exception to verbal attacks, and any pronouncements or policies meant to denigrate our persons or the teaching profession,” GNAT noted in its statement.
Prof Adei has been on the warpath with teachers for years.
Below is the full statement from GNAT:
FROM THE GHANA NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS (GNAT) TO PROFESSOR STEPHEN ADEI
In this era when the whole world is reeling under the pain, insecurity and consternation caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the least the Ghanaian public could expect is the Ghana National Association of Teachers, GNAT, entering into combat with His Eminence, Professor Stephen Adei, the tormentor-in-chief of teachers in the country. We are doing so against the backdrop of his proposal that teachers be made to forgo 50% of their salaries, for staying home, during this period of anxiety and uncertainty. We wish to stress that this is not the first time Professor Adei has turned his radar on our teachers.
Indeed, Professor Adei has the penchant for attacking teachers, sometimes under very spurious and bizarre circumstances. At one time or the other, he has called teachers pure criminals, lazy, wicked, and a national burden. He has accused teachers of know(ing) next to nothing and forming cabals with their Heads (and) deliberately boycotting classes, to the detriment of the(ir) pupils. Professor Adei has called the attitude of teachers to work lackadaisical, accused them of not teach(ing), yet tak(ing) their salaries, being wicked, collapsing the educational sector, questioned their competences and concluded, let us dismiss all the teachers; it can be done, through revolutionary tactics. Sources: Ultimate 106.9 FM page, March 27, 2018; Peace 104.3 FM page, January 24, 2019; Eveyo.com page, March 22, 2018; Ghanaweb, March 23, 2018; OTEC 102.9 FM, March 2018; Class FM page, January 2019; Citi FM page, January 29, 2019. All these vituperations and scorn he has poured on teachers, and gone scot-free; but not this time round!
The Ghana National Association of Teachers, GNAT, wonders whether the loquacious Professor is not on this planet to appreciate the fact that a pandemic, the Coronavirus, COVID-19, is currently ravaging the world, Ghana included; that it is because of its devastation that the schools were directed to close down, in the bid to curb its spread. We want to know whether he appreciates the stay home (of both teachers and pupils) was a Government (official) order; that the teachers did not decide or elect themselves to stay home? We wish to know further from the Wiawso Training College-educated Professor, whether he closed his Christian High School near Dodowa on his own accord, or on the Government [did] (official) order?
Knowing Professor Adei for who he is, we deem his call for the 50% reduction of salaries of teachers as an attempt to instigate the greater society against teachers and cause disaffection for them, but then, it won’t wash! Teachers are not the cause of the Coronavirus and all the challenges it has brought in its trail; like all other segments of society, teachers are victims of circumstances, and must not be punished by a phenomenon they did not originate, as the garrulous Professor seeks to do.
We hereby do reiterate, that as professionals, teachers are not above criticism. However, when someone consistently subjects teachers to insults and ridicule, berate and set us up for attacks and create disaffection for us, as does Professor Adei, constantly on the electronic and social media platforms, then we have no option than to defend ourselves and safeguard our reputation. We wish to state that we won’t accept any repugnant and offensive expressions on our persons or families. We shall continue to accept constructive, and morale-boosting criticisms and not reprehensible, offensive and degrading ones. Let all know that we take exception to verbal attacks, and any pronouncements or policies meant to denigrate our persons or the teaching profession.
We wish to state that person(s) who take pleasure in engaging in verbal attacks against teachers with every opportunity should be mindful of the repercussions and consequences of their actions on teachers, their families and the teaching profession as a whole. Utterances such as those of Professor Adei, have led to situations in which some teachers have been assaulted physically, brutalized, maimed and even murdered, and we won’t countenance these, going forward.
We, therefore, condemn in no uncertain terms the utterances of Professor Adei, and hereby remind all those who take delight in inflicting such verbal and physical pain on teachers and the teaching profession to note that Ghanaian Teachers have at all material times been mindful of Article 41 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, which enjoins Ghanaians to be each other’s keeper. This, however, should not be misconstrued as weaknesses on their part. They should, therefore, be accorded the necessary honour and respect due them.
The Ghana National Association of Teachers, GNAT, is however relieved, that the Ministry of Education has come out swiftly with a statement, to tell Professor Adei, and all who think like him, that it isn’t teachers who called for the schools to shut, and can therefore not be made to suffer the 50% drop in their salaries, the period the shut remains in place. We are happy the Ministry of Education has told the Professor Emeritus of Ashesi University, Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), and Chief Executive of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), that teachers have not said they are unwilling to return to the classroom(s) to teach. We hope Professor Adei has ears to hear this!
The Ghana National Association of Teachers, GNAT, still looks forward earnestly to life returning to normalcy and all groups, persons, professions and professionals, including teachers, returning to their domains to contribute their bits towards the country’s growth and development.
Long live GNAT! Long Live Ghana’s Teachers!!
Long Live Ghana!!!
THOMAS T. MUSAH GENERAL SECRETARY
GHANA NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS, GNAT.