Some members of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) are calling on the leadership of the Association to consider changing the business formality of the Credit Mall Limited of Teachers’ Fund to benefit members in the lockdown areas.
”It is refreshing to note that the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has equally augmented government’s effort towards combating the outbreak of the disease by making available to the government over Gh₵56,000.00 worth of accommodation and conference facilities to be used within the period under review for various COVID-19 combating activities.”
”Despite the above positive gesture towards the COVID-19 fight, a great majority of GNAT and Teachers Fund Contributors are humbly appealing to our Union and Fund Managers to kindly come to our aid during these difficult times. Price escalations, restricted movements, total/partial lockdown, compulsory/voluntary quarantine and self-isolation are the major factors necessitating this passionate call. We know we are not in normal times. We also know that unions are formed so that in times like these, they would come to the aid of members to mitigate the damming effects of such shocks.” The teachers argued.
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“How do the struggling majority of GNAT members and Mutual Fund contributors who contribute from GHc400.00 to GH₵800.00 Optional Monthly Premium and still took loans with their remaining affordability to invest in businesses that have been locked down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic survive under the current harsh living condition?” They asked.
According to the teachers, Credit Mall Limited of Teachers’ Fund should change its business strategy from the supply of Household Appliances to the supply of Food Items (Rice, beans, canned food, cooking oil, etc.) to members in the lockdown areas at the lowest interest rates on humane conditions.
Three Months Moratorium
The teachers added that the Teachers’ Fund should grant at least Three Months Moratorium for May, June and July 2020 to its loan servicing members to augment their disposable income during these difficult times.
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The teachers also requested that the Teachers’ Fund should put in place a temporary policy of granting Personal/Consumer Loans not exceeding a certain reasonable amount, (eg. GH₵10,000.00), and halt all vehicle, investment and habitat loans for the months of May, June and July 2020 until the economy becomes stabilised.
Speaking on Public Education on COVID-19, the teachers suggested , that the GNAT Leadership should direct all District Secretariats to carry out education on the novel COVID-19 pandemic and to supply basic logistics needed for the effective management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to them, the District Secretariats of GNAT should use the GNAT/CTF Resource Persons in the Regions and others to organise local Radio/TV Lessons for our children at home, during these times.
Coronavirus, commonly called COVID-19, is a global pandemic with its devastating social and economic effects.
As at Thursday, 16th April 2020, the global COVID-19 cases stand at over 2,000,765, with 126,776 deaths and 484,831 recoveries. Ghana has also recorded a total of 641 infected cases with 8 deaths and 83 recoveries.
In order to prevent the spread and further devastation of the virus, the President of the state, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, closed all borders, provided various logistics including PPEs and banned all public gatherings to reduce the spread of COVID-19. All Public and Private Educational Institutions were also closed down.
Additionally, some key areas and localities in Accra and Kumasi are under partial lockdown and mandatory quarantine. Social and economic activities in those areas have also come to a halt, causing untold hardships on the lives of the affected citizenry, including GNAT members.
This development has also affected greatly the normal lives of all Ghanaians, their work, businesses and other social and economic activities that used to support their daily livelihoods. Shops and other businesses opened and managed by workers, including our teachers as alternative livelihoods are shut down indefinitely, causing a lockdown of their investments.