GNAT fires back at government— ‘Teachers are not guinea pigs, scapegoats for your half-baked policies’

A file photo of GNAT leaders

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has directed a counter-attack at government over a statement reportedly made by the Deputy Minister for Education in charge of Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET), Gifty Twum-Ampofo, that teachers are to blame for Ghana’s economic woes.

The Deputy Minister is alleged to have said that the ratio of a country’s gross tertiary enrollment had to be high before its economy could perform well.

Deputy Minister for Education in charge of Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET), Gifty Twum-Ampofo.

But Ghana’s gross tertiary enrollment ratio, she told a crowd at the 175th Anniversary of Presbyterian College of Education, was low.

And, linking the low ratio to poor performance of students, she reportedly concluded that teachers were responsible for the country’s bad economic situation.

“Research has proven that any country’s gross tertiary enrollment ratio has so much to do with GDP. So, for our instructors and for our lecturers here, once you have this responsibility and you get so much commitment, then we are sure that the gross tertiary enrollment ratio will definitely increase. And when that increases, the GDP of the country will increase.

A file photo: A classroom in Ghana.

“And for this simple reason, if the economy is not doing well, it is not the economists, it is the teachers. Let me say that again. If the economy is not doing well, it is not the Finance Minister. It is not the economist. It is the teacher, because the performance of the economy depends on the country’s gross tertiary enrollment ratio,” she is quoted to have said on Saturday, 1 July 2023.  

Responding to the comments, GNAT issued a statement on Monday, 3 July 2023, saying not under its watch would its teachers be scapegoated or reduced to guinea pigs by government for the policies it hardly thought through before implementation.

“Let us make it clear to Hon. Twum-Ampofo and her ilk that the Ghana National Association of Teachers would not sit unconcerned for its teachers to be taken to the cleaners by people in positions of responsibility. Our teachers cannot be made scapegoats or guinea pigs by government for policies they hardly reflect on before implementing.

“Once again, we wish to reiterate that no educationist nor teacher sit in cabinet where Ghana’s economy is discussed. The Finance Ministry is not headed by a teacher and we are not aware that an educationist or a teacher, for that matter, has ever been invited to make a presentation or deliver a paper on the country’s economic prospects or woes.

“Following from all these, we wish to re-emphasise that we are fed up with these scapegoating and blame games on our teachers. Madam Twum-Ampofo must not make us believe that it is only a bad workman who quarrels with her or his tools, and in some instances, her or his outcomes,” said GNAT.

Read below a full copy of the statement:

Source: Edward Adeti/Media Without Borders/


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