A political scientist and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Professor Atsu Aryee, has advised teachers to fight for better conditions of service rather than fight for teachers’ holiday.

He told Class News in an interview that: “Ghana has 14 national holidays, Nigeria has 13, South Africa 13, Kenya the same, the USA has 10 and the UK has eight national holidays so it looks like Ghana is a little bit high. I want us to look at it from this angle, at the end of the day, what do we want? Is it the holiday or improved conditions?

“I think that we should not be looking at short term which will lead to nowhere. The long term is that teachers must be recognised and the recognition must come from improved service condition. [Let’s stop] trying to say today is teachers’ days so let us have a teacher’s holiday basically for teachers and students. I will not buy that idea, let us go along the long term haul of improved conditions of service of teachers. They have sacrificed a lot, they have done a lot in this country, but the bottom line is that people’s pockets are empty.”

His comment follows renewed calls by president of National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Christian Addai-Poku for World Teachers Day, to be declared a holiday for teachers and students only in Ghana.

The president of NAGRAT, Christian Addai-Poku, argued that many teachers are unable to participate or observe the National Teachers Day because they teach on that day. He said although Ghana has at least has 13 public holidays, he does not believe adding one more will be excessive.

He said: “We have made advocacy for it to be declared a holiday, at least for teachers. Just for teachers and students and not everybody so that the teachers will have the chance to participate fully because today is our day, and we are supposed to be celebrating and be part of the national programme going on, but unfortunately, we are being asked to go to the classroom and teach.

“So even though this is going on and will be live on national TV, most of the teachers will not even have the chance to watch. Last time we spoke about this is two years ago, and we made an appeal to the Minister of Education that teachers continue to complain that ‘this is our day, we are supposed to be part of the activities but only selected few are permitted to be part of the day, most of us don’t attend the programme, we don’t watch it on television’…so if it can be declared a holiday just for teachers and students, it will be good for us.”

Source: Ghana/AccraFM.com

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