Madam Helina Awurusah, National Gender Coordinator for the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), has told teachers in the Upper West Region, not to accept verbal transfers because they are illegal.
Speaking during the International Women’s Day celebrations in Wa, Madam Awurusah noted that verbal transfers were not official, and should not be accepted by any teacher no matter the status of the one issuing it.
“Transfers must come in written form clearly stating all the reasons for the transfer, and it is for purposes of documentation and change of particulars of the one involved, from the former school to the present school,” she pointed out.
The National Gender Coordinator of GNAT, therefore, appealed to teachers to endeavour to report any director who victimized them for refusing to accept a transfer that was done verbally.
Globally, the day is being celebrated under the theme: “Make it Happen,” but here in Ghana it is being celebrated under the sub theme: “Gender Democracy is Union Democracy: Strength and Unity.”
Madam Awurusah noted that 2015 was an auspicious year for the International Women Day celebration, as it marked the 20th Anniversary of the Beijin Declaration and Platform for Action, the most advanced document on women’s rights and empowerment ever signed by world leaders.
She said the 189-member United Nations (UNs) who unanimously took this bold step at the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 outlined critical areas of concern and concrete actions that governments, UN institutions and civil society must take if humanity was to become truly equal.
Acknowledging critical achievements of such objectives so far, Madam Awurusah said over the last 20 years, the global gender gap in education had become narrower, and some countries have reached parity in school enrolment; the number of women dying in child birth had almost halved and in 46 countries, women now hold more than 30 percent of the seats in national parliaments in at least one chamber.
She said the 2014 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Report highlighted the serious challenges that still remained, including the fact that 60 percent of the 781 million adults and 126 million youth worldwide who lacked basic literacy skills were women and girls.
“Although poverty rates were halved between 1990 and 2010, 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty today,” she said.
“Poor women’s work subsidises the global economy with nine trillion US dollars annually”, she added.
She said because education was a human right in itself and an enabling right that transforms lives, education unions work to advance the right of women and girls.
Madam Awurusah, therefore, urged Education International (EI) member organisations to renew their efforts this year to enable the Beijin Platform for Action to become a reality for women and girls, boys and men.
Mr. Le-Roy Levi Mc Nara, Upper West Regional GNAT Secretary, noted that the practice whereby people reduce their age in order not to go on pension early was an indication that the pension scheme was not attractive enough for workers reaching the age of retirement.
He said a transformed pension scheme would attract people to become more than willing to retire when they reach the retirement age and called on government not to interfere with the management of the pension scheme which he said should be privately managed.
On the issue of transfers, Mr. Mc Nara noted that transfer was a management tool to improve on performance in the education sector, noting however that in the Upper West Region the issue of transfer was rather becoming more like a punishment.
This practice, he pointed out, demoralizes teachers and appealed to District and Regional Education Directors to desist from using transfer as a form of punishment for teachers.
The Upper West Regional GNAT Secretary also underscored the need to pay teachers handling a class of more than 80 children some allowances, to motivate them to do so effectively.
Mr. Mc Nara in justifying his statement noted that a class of 80 children was supposed to be managed by two teachers, and that in circumstances where there were no teachers and one teacher had to manage the class, then the teacher should be paid some motivational allowance.