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COVID-19: Lifting Of Lockdown, The Right Thing To Do – TUC Boss

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Lifting Of Lockdown, The Right Thing To Do – TUC Boss 

The Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress, Dr. Anthony Yaw Baah, says the decision taken by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to lift the 3-week partial lockdown of Accra, Kumasi, Tema and Kasoa was the right one

Thanking President Akufo-Addo for “the excellent leadership you have provided us to save us from the horrible situation we are witnessing in other countries, particularly Europe and the US”, the TUC boss stated that “the restrictions on movement have yielded some positive results, and we are all witnesses to this.”

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 Dr. Anthony Yaw Baah added that “Yesterday, you eased some of these restrictions and emphasized that some of these restrictions must be complied with strictly. We think it is the right thing to do, given the dire economic consequences of prolonged restriction.”

The TUC Secretary-General made this known on Monday, 20th April, 2020, when, at the invitation the President, he held discussions on measures to combat the spread of the Coronavirus in the country.

Describing the impact of the health crisis on employment in Ghana as “mind-boggling”, Dr. Yaw Baah told the President that “businesses are collapsing in almost all the sectors of the economy, many people have already lost their jobs, and many more would have lost their jobs without the easing of these restrictions.”

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He continued, “The fight of this coronavirus is a shared responsibility. We think you and your government are doing what is expected of you. It is time for us Ghanaians to do our part as individuals by observing the safety protocols that will protect us and others from this deadly virus”. 

The TUC Boss used the opportunity to thank all health workers, the security personnel, utility workers, the media and all other workers, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Information for providing all the essential services to the people of Ghana during this crisis.

“You risk your lives every day to protect the rest of us. You have made us very proud as workers’ leaders and so we pray that God blesses you abundantly. Mr. President, that is why we appreciate the incentive package that you have put together for health workers. These workers deserve the package. The tax reliefs, the 50% salary increase, will provide the incentive for them to work even more diligently as we continue this fight against the virus,” he added.

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With workers resuming work from Monday, he urged all local branch division and national unions to work with their employers to ensure strict compliance with the various protocols in the fight against this virus.

He revealed further that, with May Day some eleven (11) days away, “we have decided to cancel all the national and regional parades that have become the main feature of May Day celebrations in our country in compliance with the ban on public gatherings but all is not lost.”

Nonetheless, he revealed that the Director General of GBC, Professor Amin Alhassan, has assured the TUC of a live television programme “to enable us to reach out to workers with a very strong message on the need for each and every worker to protect himself or herself and their families from this virus. We would like to invite you to join us to reach out to the working people of Ghana with a message of solidarity and encouragement in these difficult times.” 

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Dr. Yaw Baah reassured President Akufo-Addo that “the working people of Ghana, will continue to play a role in the effort to restore growth to our economy so that businesses will flourish once again and workers can keep their jobs and those who don’t have jobs now also have jobs. Finally, they should be able to defeat not only the coronavirus but also poverty.”

 

Source: SintimMedia.Com 

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Education

Government spent GH¢40.4 billion on education between 2017 and 2020 – President Akufo-Addo

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“EXPENDITURE ON EDUCATION INCREASED BY 95% IN MY TIME” – PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO

President of Ghana. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

“So great has this government’s commitment to education been that public expenditure on education has almost doubled from twenty billion, seven hundred million cedis (GH¢20.7 billion) between 2013 and 2016, that is in the Mahama era, to forty billion, four hundred million cedis (GH¢40.4 billion) between 2017 and 2020, that is in the Akufo-Addo era, representing an increase of some ninety five percent (95%).”

These were the words of the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, 4th January 2022, when he delivered a speech at the 6th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in Kumasi.

Addressing the gathering at the event, President Akufo-Addo noted that GNAT is what it is today because of the work of its past and current membership and leadership, and he assured that, under his administration, the work undertaken by the membership and leadership of the Association will not be in vain.

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The President, thus, used the opportunity to thank all teachers in the country for the work they did, and continue to do, in ensuring that the education of Ghanaian children, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, has not been truncated.

“Continuous assessment, the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) have all been written by thousands and thousands of students, under your care and guidance, in conditions of safety and orderliness, and without incident. The nation is extremely appreciative of these acts of selflessness and patriotism,” he said

According to President Akufo-Addo, his vision of a modern, competitive, Ghanaian economy, spearheaded by indigenous entrepreneurs, with productive employment for the great majority of its citizens, requires skilled economic actors, and to get there, the nation needs an educated workforce.

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“Through the implementation of the Free Senior High School policy, we are ensuring that value is being added to the intellect of every Ghanaian child. This is our surest way of succeeding in adding value to the Ghanaian economy, thereby helping to create acceptable, well-paying jobs for the young people of our country,” he said.

The President continued, “For us, in Ghana, also to make a success of our nation, we must pay attention to teachers. It is only a group of well trained and motivated teachers that can help deliver the educated and skilled workforce we require to transform our economy and nation”.

Outlining the many initiatives implemented by Government since 2017, he stated that his government has restored, since coming into office five years ago, and continues to pay, teacher trainee allowances, which were abolished by the previous administration.

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“In addition to the yearly average increase in salaries over the last five (5) years, my government is, for the first time in our nation’s history, paying a professional allowance to teachers. We have abolished the three (3) months’ pay policy for teachers, we have cleared the arrears, and promotions due teachers have also been effected,” he said.

He stressed that to prevent undue delays in promotion of qualified teachers, Government will, in 2022, improve on the conduct of the aptitude test instituted by the Ghana Education Service, leveraging on lessons learnt from the one conducted in 2021.

Affordable Housing for Teachers

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“Government is also committed to the development of affordable housing for teachers all across the nation. The current initiative will involve the provision of housing for both mortgage and rental. I am fully aware that one challenge facing teacher ownership of homes beyond finance is their inability to purchase homes where they intend to retire,” he said.

Through a subsidised loan programme, President Akufo-Addo indicated that teachers will be provided an opportunity to own houses in desired locations in various parts of the country, stating that the Ministry of Education is working with the National Service Scheme on this.

In addition, the Ministry of Works and Housing is in discussion with teacher unions to provide more housing opportunities for teachers.

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“Within the next two years, it is proposed that ten thousand (10,000) housing units on affordable terms will be developed for teachers across the country. This, as we all know, is the tip of the iceberg, but it is a good beginning,” he added.

Touching on the vexed issue of laptops for teachers, President Akufo-Addo was glad the supply of laptops was appreciated by teachers, and promised that the other related matters of concern will be addressed.

“Good relations between GNAT and my government are matters of importance to me, and I will do my best to promote such relations,” he added.

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Source: The Presidency

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