The Gender Desk Coordinator of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) for Eastern Region, Ms Leticia Abena Boadi, has advised female teachers in the association to act as watchdogs for girls in the schools where they teach.
She said many a time, female teachers who should be protecting the young girls in the school, rather accused them if the girls fell victim to sexual harassment from their male colleague teachers.
“When our girls in our schools fall victim to sexual harassment, it is our duty as female teachers who are serving as their mothers in the schools, to help draw such victims closer to us and investigate and bring the perpetrators to book.
“Instead, we accuse and counter accuse these girls, which rather demoralises them,” the gender desk officer added.
She made the remarks when she addressed female NAGRAT members at the Sixth Quadrinal Delegates’ conference at Nkawkaw.
“I will entreat that we the female teachers open our eyes wide in our various schools to ensure that we protect the girls from such untoward situations some of them find themselves in.
“Whether the girls are our own biological children or not, it is part of our godly and spiritual duty to see to their welfare for their future,” Ms Boadi stated.
She said she was aware of the challenges female teachers would encounter if they insisted on checking their male counterparts but stressed that once the male teachers were doing what was morally wrong, they would feel guilty, ashamed and stop.
“Let us do our professional work judiciously to enable the girls attain higher heights in their chosen careers for their future”, she added.
The gender desk officer also advised girls in the schools to take their female teachers as their confidants and confide in them when male teachers harassed them for sexual favours.
Ms Boadi said the female teachers needed proper capacity building in the teaching profession at the zonal level in the region, so that they would not be found wanting when their services were needed and assured her colleagues that she would make sure their capacities were built to enhance their performance.
“Gender is also about deaf, blind, dumb and teachers with special needs and it is an area we have left behind. I will explore that area and bring all the female teachers on board as gender desk to feel a sense of belongingness,” she assured the teachers.
She said any gender issue was a social issue affecting both sexes and, therefore, she was going to organise educative programmes on health for all members on prostate cancer screening to benefit all.
Ms Boadi was of the view that teacher professionalism was very important and paramount.
She, therefore, said within a period in this academic year, she would organise workshops and invite renowned educationists and experienced retirees to build their capacity to enhance their work.