How the GNAT works

a) Two structures operate within the GNAT. These are:

i. the Political hierarchy which has responsibility for the formulation of policy guidelines and executive direction;

ii. the Administrative set-up, which is the secretariat that implements the policies and programmes of the Association.

b) The Political (Structure) hierarchy is based on effective representation where the representatives carry the mandate of the members they represent. It is therefore necessary for members at the various levels to be seriously involved in electing worthy representatives.

c) The various levels of the Association are:

i.   Basic Unit (School Branch)
ii.  Local Branch
iii. District Branch
iv. Regional Branch
v. National

d) The basic Unit (School Branch) of the Association at the grassroots is the educational establishment (i.e. school, college, or education office). All teachers in such educational establishments are eligible to be members of the Association.

e) The branch elects a leader (known as the School Representative) who co-ordinates the activities of the Association at the basic level, including attending meetings and participating in decision-making at the local level and carrying back decisions to his or her school branch.

f) The Local Branch embraces all the basic units (school branches) in any specific locality.

g) The district branch is made up of all local branches in a given district.

h) The Regional Branch is constituted by the branches in any given administrative region.

i) All the regional branches together constitute the National Association.

j) The Administrative set-up is headed by the General Secretary as the Chief Executive Officer. This position is by appointment. She/He is assisted in the performance of his/her duties by deputies and other officers who have specific schedules at the national level. Administrative functions in the regions are handled by regional secretaries and their assistants. There are also full-time secretaries who are responsible for administrative functions in all the districts.

k) GNAT also has a pool of supporting staff at the National and Regional levels that assist with accounting, secretarial, housekeeping and various forms of manual work.

4. DECISION MAKING IN GNAT

a) Decisions are made by accredited representatives of the members at the various levels of the Association. These representatives are enjoined to be in constant touch with the members they represent.

b) i. Delegates conferences are the highest decision-making bodies of the Association at the various levels. Major decisions are taken at the various conferences, which are attended by the accredited representatives of the members. It is at such conferences that the officers of the Association at the various levels are elected. Currently National, Regional and District delegates’ conferences are held once in four years whereas local delegates’ conferences are held once in two years.

ii. Issues that come up for discussions at Conferences emanate from the grass- roots levels of the Association through resolutions and memoranda.

c) i. Councils manage the affairs of the Association and take major decisions between conferences. Councils operate at the National, Regional and District levels of the Association.

ii. Councils could review decisions taken at conferences. Such reviews are normally influenced by conditions prevailing within the Association after the last conference. Councils meet more regularly, at least once a year.

d) i. The Executives give direction for the day-to-day administration of the Association at the various levels.

ii. The Executives also meet at least once in three months. By this, they closely monitor the implementation of Council decisions and could review such decisions as and when necessary to ensure the dynamic development of the Association.

iii. The Executives are also expected to regularly inform their constituents about decisions taken at their various levels. They are similarly expected to ventilate the feelings of their members on issues to the secretariats and the Councils at their levels.

e) i. The National Officers of the Association are the President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Trustees who are elected by the National Delegates Conference and hold office for four (4) years subject to re-election for another term.

ii. By their schedules, National Officers meet once a month to, among other things, take or review important decisions as may be called for between meetings of the National Executive and to monitor the operational activities of the National Secretariat.

f) The National President is the head of the Association. She/He presides over major meetings and conferences of the Association as well as superintends the general administration of all the officers of the Association. Political and all major policy statements are made by his/her representatives. Regional, District and Local Chairmen exercise corresponding functions at their levels.

g) The National Treasurer is the authorizing officer of the Association: Regional, District and Local Treasures perform similar functions at their levels.

h) Sub-committees: These are advisory bodies on:

• Education and Professional Development
• Salaries and Conditions of Service
• Finance and Administration
• Socio-Economic and Gender issues
• Membership Education and
• Ad hoc committees (as and when necessary)

They are normally appointed by the Executives at the various levels and are primarily charged to advise on issues bordering on their areas of reference.