Speaking at Ghana’s 54th Independence Anniversary Celebrations, President John Evans Atta Mills promised ‘anomalies’ over teacher’s new pay structures will soon be fixed.
Teachers across the west African country had threatened a nationwide sit-down strike after widespread irregularities in their February pay packets under the new single spine salary structure.
They were expecting better pay under the new system, but were furious to find there were very few very small rises and many had actually had their pay cut.
Some teachers had threatened to boycott the Independence Day parade and disrupted rehearsals ahead of the traditional event.
“Whatever anomalies that have come about as a result of our genuine attempt to migrate teachers onto the single spine salary structure are regrettable. And I can assure them that they will be corrected very soon” the President noted.
President Mills urged teachers and the thousands of schoolchildren and youth groups who marched in the parade to work hard and achieve more.
The celebrations, in the capital, Accra’s Independence Square, started with Muslim and Christian prayers from schoolchildren, followed by music, traditional dancing and a Taekwondo display.
President Mills said the Government will continue to dedicate Independence days to the youth of Ghana, who are the future leaders. “The future belongs to you and on a day like this, it is right proper that we allow you to be part of it,” he said. “Beyond our desire to build a better Ghana, discipline and hard work are the ingredients that are essential for nation building and your own personal development".
“It is through discipline and hard work that you can stay focus on your goals and be able to take advantage of the many opportunities that come your way, and be able to take over from us as leaders of our dear nation” the President said.
Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African country to gain independence from the UK in 1957. Before then it was called Gold Coast. Ghana has 12,130 primary schools, 5,450 junior secondary schools, 503 senior secondary schools, 21 colleges and five universities, according to figures from the country’s news service, Ghanaweb. This means that most Ghanaians have relatively easy access to good education. But at the time of independence, the country had only one university and a handful of secondary and primary schools.