The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has expressed concern that many children of school going age are constantly being taken out of the classroom into mining pits to engage in of illegal mining popularly known as galamsey.

GNAT said the galamsey activities was having  negative health effects on the children who should otherwise be in school with some dying as a result.

It has therefore called on the Government and other stakeholders to show high level of commitment to the fight against illegal mining to save the children who they said were the future of the country.

The Central Regional Secretary of GNAT, Mr William Abaidoo made the comments at the at the 5th quadrennial delegates’ conference of the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem Municipal Secretariat of the Association.

The conference, was on the theme: “Transforming societies through education: the roles of educational administrators towards agenda 2030.”

Mr Abaidoo said the most worrying situation was that, children who engaged in galamsey were not protected and were exposed to various forms of health hazards.

He cited poverty as a reason for the development.

“As partners in education delivery and shapers of the nation, we are extremely worried about the threat of galamsey on the lives of our children. Apart from taken them out of the classroom, their lives are also at risk. That is why we have launched a campaign against illegal mining and every teacher must have the courage to speak against it,” he said

Mr Abaidoo added the damage caused by illegal mining on Ghana’s environment has been devastating and comes at a huge cost to the development of the country hence government must make all efforts to halt the activity.

According to him, forests have been depleted, with rivers polluted, and many people including children losing their lives as a result of illegal mining.

Mr Abaidoo asked the teachers to transform themselves to be able to take centre stage in efforts at helping to transform societies to achieve the Sustainable Development (SDG) goal of inclusive and equitable quality education for everybody.

He admonished them to desist from indulging in unprofessional behaviors adding that, “it is an affront to the teaching profession if you continually conduct yourselves unprofessionally, the society will even lose confidence in entrusting their children in your hands”.

Dr Michael Amakye, a senior lecturer at the Institute for Educational Planning and Administration of the University of Cape Coast said educational administrators had a major role to play towards the achievement of Agenda 2030.

The SDG-four, requires countries to ensure inclusiveness and equitable quality education and the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all.

He indicated that the supply of adequate teaching and learning materials to schools was vital to the attainment of the SDG-Four.

Dr Amakye said education administrators needed to provide leadership that focused on students academic achievement and ensure that education was effective and was meeting set targets.

This, he said could be achieved through integrated administration where education administrators should be able to observe and manage entire set of situations, processes and operating procedures in a wide angle lens.

By: Jonas Nyabor with additional files from GNA