The Headquarters of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) is worried about continuous sporadic reports of teachers who get drowned in various parts of the Volta Lake without life jackets while enroute to teach in their various schools.
Alarmed at the frequency of these incidents, the leadership of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has presented 251 life jackets to teachers stationed in communities along the Volta Lake in the Oti Region.
According to the General Secretary of GNAT, Thomas Musah, “allocation of the life jackets will benefit teachers in about 36 community basic schools in the Krachi East and West districts” of the region.
The initiative was to help teachers abide by a basic precautionary measure of wearing life jackets during trips across the lake to their stations daily to teach.
This comes at the back of an earlier one in 2022, where members lamented the jackets were inadequate.
Mr. Thomas Musah revealed that “the last of such major incidents was in May when a teacher drowned on the lake after the canoe he was travelling on capsized while on the way back from school” serving on an Island called Agamkope.
A teacher, Prosper K. Addo, narrates how he almost lost his life during a six-hour journey on the Volta Lake to an island community in the Krachi West District.
“At the time, I wasn’t having any life jacket; meaning I would have died needlessly”, he recounted.
Ransford Appiah, the Assistant Head teacher of Kudorkope D/A Primary School, also shared the story of how he and his “colleagues commute across the lake from Dambai to Kudorkope on weekdays virtually at the perils of our lives”, just to go and teach children who deserve to be given good education.
Hundreds of teachers go through this ordeal in their quest to deliver their mandated duties across the length and breadth of the country.
There have been stories of some losing their lives, leaving their families behind, just because they had no protective gear on.
To ensure the safety of teachers who commute to riverine communities to deliver their duties, GNAT procured some 251 life jackets to be distributed to members in the Krachi East and West Districts.
The GNAT National President, Rev Isaac Owusu, lamented that “the challenges teachers go through in underserved communities are really discouraging them” and urged the government to be up to the task.
The General Secretary, Thomas Musah, was alarmed to learn that “about half of island communities in the Krachi East District do not have schools, hence questioning the government’s objective to provide equal access” to education.
The life jackets distribution is going to be done in risky areas where teachers are working in parts of the Ashanti, Eastern and Greater Accra Region and also to protect the lives of teachers cross water bodies like the Volta Lake daily to teach.
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