Ghana Teacher Ni Asem- The Plight of a Ghanaian Teacher

It’s often said that a teachers’ reward is in heaven. This reward-in-heaven cliché is the one reason many young school leavers run away from the teaching profession. The fact is, everybody needs earthly and heavenly glory. Teachers rightly need heaven on earth. The inhuman treatment meted out to them despite their crucial role in both human and national development calls for greater concern.

If there is anything Ghana needs to do, it is to encourage young elegant minds who are into teaching and have the desire to become teachers and reward them here on earth before accessing the heavenly reward by ensuring they are being paid at the regular and allotted time all their entitlements and other necessary benefits.

The teacher is in all forms the central figure and source in the development of any nation. He is the pillar and live wire of human capital development who can also make and mar the society when not properly treated and monitored. An American professor emeritus of education, Dr. Ivan Welton, once said “The future of the world is in my classroom today, a future with the potential for good or bad.” He tries to portray how the whole future of a nation lies in the hands of one person who is not given due recognition in society. A teacher from all indications is not treated well going by the work he renders to society, he is being neglected.

Despite having the great responsibility of molding the future of Ghanaian citizens, the welfare package of the Ghanaian teacher is among the worst in the country. He operates with meager and irregular salaries, he is overused in both public and private schools, yet, he remains a scapegoat where children go unsuccessful.

Most teachers lack the passion for the profession and are not properly trained on what it takes to be a 21st-century teacher and when they are trained, lack the necessary instructional materials and yet, they are the first to be blamed for poor student performance.

This has reached a critical level. When a student fails an examination, some parents launch a war on the form teacher but when the reverse is the case, the same parents may not remember that someone was behind the success.

Speaking with some teachers in Mankessim, they painted a gloomy picture, narrating how the profession has turned them destitute because of either non-payment of their salaries or insufficient remuneration. One of them said:
“I have been teaching in a private school for seven years. At times I become desperate and ask myself where I am heading to. I don’t have a comfortable house to live in, no car, no wife. There is no increment in salary and we are being embarrassed in the presence of students who fail to cope with academic studies.”

Teachers had been subjected to various kinds of ill-treatment by various stakeholders as a result of huge neglect by the government.The massive impoverishment suffered by teachers in our societies has made them be classified as second class citizens in Ghana whereas they are supposed to occupy a pride of place in our country.

It needs to be stated that teachers condition of service is the worst in our country. They are paid peanuts which makes living difficult for them. An Abura Dunkwa teacher, talks about the Ghanaian teacher of the 21st century:

“Before we were suffering but much respected in society. In the village settings especially, teachers were next to village heads and chiefs. Today, even the respect is gone. We suffer to give the best to students, yet we are being mocked by the same students. They have the feeling that once called a teacher, you are a nobody.”

All over the country, it is one tale of woe after another about teachers’ plight and condition. UNESCO which proclaimed the World Teachers Day in 1994 marked the day with a special event in Paris. The organization called on people all over the world to celebrate teachers because they are heroes. “Teachers should be celebrated by generating awareness and ensuring that teacher respect is part of the natural order of things.” Will this advice ever be heeded in Ghana?

Credit: Prof. Emma


Qweku Styles

Mommy and Daddy call me Chris. Colleagues call me Osei and more recent friends call me Kuffour. I choose both mom and dad as my favorite. I am a writer and freelancer. I happily share my experiences crisscrossing on social media. Follow us: Facebook: Legacynewsgh Twitter: @Alpha_Qweku Instagram: QwekuStyles WhatsApp: 0561354834/0593725660

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