GNAT expresses concerns about attacks on teachers

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) on Thursday expressed concern about the recent spate of brutal attacks on teachers in some parts of the Greater Accra Region.

Addressing a press conference in Accra, Mrs Irene Duncan-Adanusa, General Secretary of GNAT, said the association condemned the behaviour of the youth in Dangme West District who were turning their schools into ‘no go areas’ for teachers.

She said the youth had ganged up to create a hostile work environment for the teachers in the district to discharge their duties as expected of them.

“Such acts can only be described as reprehensible, barbaric and backward,” she said.

Mrs Duncan-Adanusa cited an incident reported on January 16, this year, about 20 irate youths at Duffour in the Dangme West District who allegedly invaded the Methodist Basic School and assaulted the headteacher and other teachers in protest against the perennial poor performance of pupils at the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

She said the Greater Accra Region Branch of GNAT, in reaction to this act, threatened to boycott classes by its members in the area if those who beat up the teachers were not brought to book within a week.

Mrs Duncan-Adanusa said the community had refused to respond to the demands of GNAT to write an undertaking to the association and the Ghana Education Service (GES) pledging respect and protection of all teachers posted to the community and this had led to the withdrawal of all 16 teachers of the school by GES and the closure of the school.

She noted that the residents blamed the teachers of the school for the poor performance of the pupils in last year’s BECE, “but quality education did not solely depend on teachers, it is a collective effort of all stakeholders in the education enterprise.”

Mrs Duncan-Adanusa appealed to the Police in the community and the Dangme West District Security Council to ensure that the youth in the area did not carry out their threat as contained in a letter circulating in the community, issuing an ultimatum to the headteacher to either leave the town by the end of March or risk molestation.

Ms Gifty Apanbil, Greater Accra Regional Secretary of GNAT, said it was quite disheartening to see that all efforts to educate children was not being appreciated by some members of the community, especially in the case of the recent attacks on teachers in the Dangme West District.

She noted that those enraged youth who attacked the teachers were encouraged by some elders in the community.

Ms Apanbil said executives of GNAT would not take the law into their hands but rather employ all appropriate means to ensure justice prevailed for the assaulted teachers. GNA

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