New Teachers Go Wild

The 2010 batch of trained teachers in the Volta Region who have been working for the past 13 months has expressed its displeasure about its unpaid salary. According to the teachers, they had also not been given any explanation for the delay in the payment of their accumulated salaries. The group said, �We wish to state unequivocally clear, our displeasure about the undue delays in the payment of our accumulated salaries for the past 13 months�. It said it had therefore given government up to October, 10 2011 to give them a date on which the teachers would receive their accumulated salaries, threatening to hit the streets and lay down their tools indefinitely if government failed them. The statements were contained in a communiqu� issued by the teachers and signed by the secretary, Gliff Eric Jerry and the coordinator, Kafui Sename. According to the communiqu�, the newly-trained teachers, mostly young people who were now starting life, were at the verge of being ejected from their rented apartments and cut from water and electricity supply due to their inability to pay their bills. Gliff Jerry, in an interview, said some of their members were even finding it difficult to afford one square meal a day. He noted that this had made teaching and commitment difficult as some could not concentrate and give off their best due to the hardship the delay in their salaries had brought upon them. He lamented that since they started working in September 2010 to date, they had not been given any explanation or assurance on when their salaries would be paid. He added that usually, they were paid after their results had been released; however since June this year when the results were released, they were yet to hear from their employer, the Ghana Education Service (GES). Mr. Gliff therefore appealed to President Atta Mills to, as a matter of urgency, come to their aid since they were suffering. A teacher who pleaded anonymity said, �I have to walk about three kilometres to and from school every day because I cannot pay common transportation�if not for some community members who give me some farm produce from time to time, I don�t know how I will eat.� The teachers have therefore called on the government and the GES to explain the reason for the delays, give a deadline for payment and an assurance of full payment of their accumulated salaries in one tranche. They also called on the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and other civil society organisations to help pressure the government to pay them their salaries.