I have always known that teaching in Ghana is just a kind gesture to either society or mankind. Many teachers attest to this saying by believing that they don’t teach for money but out of love. It is obvious that the profession is the most vilified among all other professions. Many people call themselves teachers because they did not have many options on the job market and perhaps could only help themselves and family through desperate means. When you get time to interact with teachers, you will mostly hear them complain but because they do not have any other alternative, they remain in the profession just managing their lives. If an Assistant Director I in GES cannot go home with a sumptuous salary, then the profession does not worth it. Teachers teach for salary: nothing more, nothing less. “The Desperate Professionals” pay all their utilities, rents and other basic responsibilities from the same meagre salary. No room for either savings or additional income. Those who tried to add a business to acquire a second income do not have it easy.
It is now obvious that the teaching profession is a service to society: a kind of kind gesture. That is trying to serve your country by accepting a meagre salary irrespective of your experience, knowledge or qualification. No amount of qualification or education could even qualify the District Director of Education to take home GH₵6000, how much more the ordinary teacher. We have either defunct or dormant condition of service: though it exists, it does not grind or mill any corn. Teachers are seen as national instruments use to grow the human resource base of the country out of charity. Teachers are employed by GES and GES determines their rank as well as the salary they deserve. GES does not care whether the emoluments are enough to change the quality of life of teachers or not. In Sweden, a primary school teacher takes home $4300, an amount which is equivalent to GH₵24,510 monthly. You can see the Ghanaian teacher should not or never think about any form of self-actualization ever in his or her career. Teachers always accept their fate out of frustrations and hopelessness.
When the leadership of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) met with President Akuffo Addo, he made them understand that teaching is not a lucrative profession in that people don’t enter into the profession with the mindset of making millions of money. According to the president, it is also the status quo in many other countries. The president did not mince words and said teaching is just a service to mankind that is why teaching conditions seems to be a problem in Ghana. By inference, the president wants to remind all teachers that if you choose to become a teacher in Ghana do not think about being rich, getting rich or becoming rich. It is not a millionaire or a billionaire avenue for people who want to become damn rich or enjoy riches on this earth. Though many people see this assertion to be regrettable, it is the gospel truth. No government will ever increase the salary of teachers to even 50% in this country. Whilst the economy continues to swallow the meagre salary of teachers, the government remains indifferent and thinks teachers are only doing the country a great service.
Fellow teachers, the bean had been split by no other person but the President of the Republic. The president had spoken the truth irrespective of how teachers see it. No teacher will ever become rich relying on teaching salary in Ghana. Ask yourself, how many teachers can make GH₵1million after working continuously working for 30years. It is nearly impossible for many teachers in Ghana to save even for their own use. Many of them rely solely on loans to accomplish certain tasks in life. Teachers struggle in this country and the status quo might not change soon. It is a gloomy profession and if many teachers have their own way, they will leave to take up other professions to enable them to live well in life. Until then remember, teaching is not an avenue for riches or being rich. It is only a form of dedication and service to your nation. A word to the wise is enough.
A Concerned Teacher