A former President of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Mr Alexander Mawusi Buadi, has asked the association to consider an upward review of its contribution to the Teachers Fund to provide better pension for members on retirement.
He said GNAT, with its numerical strength, had what it takes to better the lot of teachers, both in active service and in retirement.
Addressing the sixth Quadrennial Ho District Delegates Conference of the association in the Volta Region, Mr Buadi said as contributors, teachers deserved to enjoy value added benefits.
The conference elected new executives for 10 positions in the Ho District, reviewed activities for the previous year and developed strategic plans for the future.
The Teachers Fund was instituted in 1998 to serve as a supplementary pension scheme for GNAT members.
Mr Buadi, who acted as President of GNAT in 2013, also said the fund, if properly managed, could be transformed into a Teachers Bank to offer support to members.
“After many years of service, the teacher must enjoy a decent life to the full. Leaders must continue to press home for better pension. Today, nobody knows how pension calculations are done — where are our past credits? Are they still with the government, SSNIT or GLICO?” he asked.
Mr Buadi claimed that the current pension regime in the country was a ‘killer’ scheme which did not help pensioners live stress-free lives and, therefore, there was the need for GNAT to come up with more innovative packages to assist members.
He commended GNAT for establishing a cancer fund and also purchasing a centre that would soon be transformed into a hospital for members.
The Ho West Education Director, Celestine Korsi-Agordo, advised teachers to contribute to the fund to enable them to enjoy welfare benefits, including the acquisition of loans to save them from some throat-cutting financial institutions. The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Adaklu, Kwame Governs Agbodza, entreated the government to invest more in education for the accelerated development of the country.
According to him, some teachers refused posting to rural areas because of the lack of infrastructure, such as schools and accommodation, and, therefore, urged the government to include teachers in the national discourse to help in shaping the educational sector.
The incumbent District Chairperson of GNAT, Madam Lois Tipong-Asare, was retained.