TEACHING IN GHANA, IS IT SLAVERY OR A JOB?-BY MUSAH SUMAILA
The teaching job is now becoming boring and unattractive if not already boring because of the action and inaction of the Ghana Education Service. A body that is supposed to make the working condition of teachers a comfortable one is rather making it a slavery job.
GES has refused to catch up with the 21st century. They have decided to live in the 19th century. It makes one wonder if teaching is a slavery venture or a professional job?
It makes sense that as each day passes by, new things are discovered to make life comfortable. Every sector in the country is always trying to improve its services but GES finds improvement as a big problem to them. Many teachers are wondering why GES insisted and continue to insist that teachers must write lesson notes before they(GES) know that teachers are teaching meanwhile printable versions of lesson notes are online that teachers can just tap. A reason that the lesson notes online are error-ridden is dead on arrival. Are those lesson notes not from GES? are they saying that they didn’t cross-check to know whether everything is good to go before uploading online? is it teachers’ burden they don’t want it to lessen or do they sincerely think that putting pressure on teachers to write archaic lesson notes is what makes teaching and learning more effective?
Today, everywhere in the world where we have leaders whose heads are really sitting on their necks, they build classrooms with screen touch boards. The common ones are even marker boards but in the 21st century in Ghana, they keep putting up chalkboards or should I say cemented boards and the most painful and annoying thing is that they don’t supply enough chalks to the schools. They turn round to warn heads not to grant any interview to any media house. If you are doing the right thing, why are you afraid?
As if the aforementioned above is not enough to make the life of the teacher a miserable one…when it comes to salary issues, it’s a different ball altogether. It’s very pathetic that right from the district, municipal, metropolitan, and GES headquarters that they don’t have particulars of the very people who work for them. After a teacher has upgraded him or herself through further studies or long service, the kind of documents they ask of that teacher before he or she is placed on the right rank makes one wonder with what documents did they employed such teacher. it stands to reason that any policy that intends to bring some relief to the teacher is a thorn in the flesh of those above.
As for the circuit supervisors, the least said about them, the better. They behave as if they were once not classroom teachers. They once complained about all these things when they were teaching but what has changed today? they also keep doing what they spoke against sometime ago. But this does not surprise some of us because when one looks at our parliament if not all, many of them were once teachers but how many of them have ever stood on the floor of parliament to champion the course of the teacher?
We use to play a game called charskele if I have gotten the spelling correct when we were young. Today that is how successive governments have turned out the education system. Their focus is on the student/pupil but how is the teacher faring is nonsense to them.
Recently, the First Gentleman of the land made everything clear that teaching is not a job a teacher can use to become a millionaire hence the reason why they treat teachers like that. Even if that were true, must you make it loud? but as a politician, one can become a millionaire right, Mr. President? no wonder the spouses were given those fat allowances.
I will end the noise I am making on this note, please headteachers, according to the president himself, teachers have to do side jobs if they want to make it. Heads must lessen the pressure they put on their teachers when they don’t come to school. We need to do some side jobs to become millionaires.
I also suggest that we all rise up to the campaign to dissolve all teacher unions and get a strong one or better still, the controller should make it possible that a teacher can opt not to be part of any teacher union.