President Akufo-Addo addressing 6th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers
The government, over the last five years, has doubled the public expenditure on Ghana's Education from GH¢20.7 billion, between 2013 and 2016, to GH¢40.4 billion, between 2017 and 2020, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.
That, commitment shown by the government, the President, said represented an increase of about 95%. "So great has this government's commitment to education been that public expenditure on education has almost doubled since 2017," he said.
Addressing the 6th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) on Tuesday at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, President Akufo-Addo commended GNAT for the role it played throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that education had not been truncated.
President Akufo-Addo said his vision of a modern, competitive economy, spearheaded by indigenous entrepreneurs, required skilled economic actors.
He said throughout the implementation of the Free Senior High School (Free SHS) policy, the government had ensured value was added to the intellect of every student.
"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."
To succeed in that direction, President Akufo-Addo indicated that there was the need to pay greater attention to teachers, adding: "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 since 2017, President Akufo-Addo said the government had restored, since coming into office, in 2017, and continued to pay, teacher trainee allowances, which were abolished by the previous administration.
In addition to the yearly average increase in salaries over the last five years, the President said, the government, for the first time in the nation's history, paid professional allowance to teachers.
He stressed that to prevent undue delays in promotion of qualified teachers, the government would, 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.
President Akufo-Addo assured the government's committed to the development of affordable housing for teachers across the nation.
The current initiative, he said, would 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."
Through a subsidised loan programme, President Akufo-Addo indicated that teachers would be provided an opportunity to own houses in desired locations in various parts of the country.
In addition, the Ministry of Works and Housing is in discussion with teacher unions to provide more housing opportunities for teachers.
"Within the next two years, it is proposed that 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 issue of laptops for teachers, President Akufo-Addo was glad that the supply of laptops was appreciated by teachers, and promised that the other related matters of concern would be addressed.
The President stressed that good relations between GNAT and the government were matters of importance to him, "and I will do my best to promote such relations."