COVID-19 Fight & Lockdown: A Plea To GNAT
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 boarders, 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 lockdown of their investments.
The current social and economic downturns are beginning to have a devastating impact on the lives of GNAT members, and most especially, Mutual Fund Ltd Contributors if not checked.
*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.
*”How is our mother union, GNAT, in collaboration with our financial anchor- Teachers Fund Ltd, planning or contributing towards the welfare and general wellbeing of all members towards mitigating the adverse effects of the novel COVID-19 pandemic?”*
*”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?*
While pondering over the increasingly rising number of COVID-19 cases and the devastating impact of the current social and economic downturns on the lives of our cherished GNAT members and Mutual Fund Contributors, we would like to make this passionate appeal to the Teachers Fund through the GNAT Leadership, and to the GNAT Leadership as the Mother Union, for consideration.
It is the hope of the Coalition of Grassroot Leadership of GNAT that an immediate action would be taken to ease the untold pressure and hardships on our cherished members by adopting and/adapting these mitigating measures as promptly as possible.
Amongst our humble request to the GNAT and Mutual Fund Ltd include:
*1. That the Teachers’ Fund grants at least Three Months Moratorium for May, June and 2020 to its loan servicing members to augment their disposable income during these difficult times.*
*2. That Credit Mall Limited of Teachers’ Fund changes 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.*
*3. That the Teachers’ Fund puts 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.*
*4. That the GNAT Leadership directs 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.*
*5. That the District Secretariats of GNAT 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.*
We hope and trust that GNAT and Teachers Fund Ltd would treat this appeal with the needed urgency and attention that they so deserve so as to continue to attract, retain and sustain the interest, trust and solidarity they have always enjoyed from our teaming members and fund contributors at the grassroots accross the country.
*Issued by the Coalition of Grassroot leadership of GNAT*
*Da-Balorror Stephen Sabo*
*(Upper West Region)*
Ghana National Association of Teachers
The General Secretary
Ghana National Association of Teachers
The Mutual Fund Board Chairman
All Regional Chairmen-GNAT
All Regional Teachers Fund Trustees-GNAT
All Metropolitan/Municipal/District Chair Persons-GNAT
ALL Local Chairmen-GNAT