I am back again but this time not against the government per se but against the seemingly incompetent, insensitive and sleeping leadership of one the seemingly weakest associations in town, the Ghana National Association of Teachers(GNAT).

It is probably a providentially splendid thing that GNAT is such an unmitigated coward. It seems to me that GNAT leadership is using calculated attempts and tricks to get its membership to be silent on the myriads of grievances that have plagued teachers over the years.

But as it stands now, their deliberate attempts and insensitivity towards their suffering members is quickly getting out of hand and time is also running out on them.

As time is running out on the blokes inhabiting the GNAT headquarters, I want to state unreservedly that since its inception, the leadership of GNAT has done little to better the lot of teachers in Ghana. Their attempts have been so insignificant.

There are myriads of problems facing teachers in Ghana running from salary issues to arrears and most important of all, conditions of service. That is why I am still in a dilemma as to why the leadership of GNAT has been so silent over these grievances. I wonder whether they are not aware all these grievous challenges. Trully, GNAT leadership must be ashamed of itself.

Where is the GNAT leadership hiding? In September 2013, some newly trained teachers were appointed by the Ghana Education Service(G.E.S). Till now, their arrears of twelve months(12 moths) and more have not been paid by the government.The same issue is happening to the 2014 crop of teachers. GNAT leadership which is excepted to be the teachers’ mouthpiece has remained unconcerned and is still standing on the fence till now.

GNAT leadership does not care about its members but continually deduct huge sums of money from their salaries as dues. What a useless dues that seem to be? Are the dues not meant to enrich you to the disadvantage of the rightful beneficiaries?

Which kind of insensitivity and complete disregard for teachers is this? Why has GNAT leadership left the suffering teachers to rot? Why is GNAT leadership becoming weaker and weaker day after day? When at all will this insensitivity end? When will teachers in this country finally breath a sigh of relief to signify that at long last GNAT leadership has awoken to its responsibilities?

The able men occupying the GNAT headquarters must sit up. Yes, I stress it, they must sit up!

Teachers deserve better salaries together with arrears and good conditions of service. GNAT leadership must carry these grievances to the government after all it is their duty to do so.

Teachers must not be taken for a ride. We can also invade the Ministry of Finance to press home our demand for better salaries and conditions of service as others are doing but as law-abiding citizens of our beloved country we chose rather to be calm. That should not be mistaken for fear.

It is high time teachers in this country are treated well because they render valuable services to this country. The future of this country lies in their hands.

This is a wake-up call for GNAT leadership to arise and fight for its members to enjoy their rightful benefits. I am in no way inciting violence or disrespect for GNAT leadership. I am a citizen who believes that we as teachers must employ peaceful means to address our grievances.

By this article, I am urging teachers nationwide, especially the 2013 and 2014 crops who have been wrongfully and illegally denied their legitimate entitlements in the form of salary and arrears to rise up and demand justice but in a peaceful way from GNAT leadership and the government.

We have been veterans of creative suffering. Let us not wallow in despair but rather believe and fight for the fact that somehow this situation can and must be changed.

Even though we face the difficulty of today and tomorrow, we must stand up now to stand for our rights to end the long drought of teacher neglect in this country. The time is now.

Now is the time to rise up from the dark and desolate valley of neglect to the great plains of justice.

If the leadership of GNAT thinks teachers have no say so they can relax, then they might expect a rude awakening if they return to business as usual.

Now is the time to make justice a reality for all teachers. Now is the time! All we are asking for with humility is summed up in these few words: GNAT leadership, wake up from your slumber and let us feel your presence.

Now is the time!

By : Bright Afele


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