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STATESMAN OPINION: THE SHABBY TREATMENT OF TEACHERS MUST END

General News

It is often said that the reward of teachers is in heaven. This cliché appear to mean to the Ghanaian that whilst on earth, teachers must sacrifice their all, with little benefits thereof, unlike the other professions, and wait to be rewarded in heaven.

It is often said that the reward of teachers is in heaven. This cliché appear to mean to the Ghanaian that whilst on earth, teachers must sacrifice their all, with little benefits thereof, unlike the other professions, and wait to be rewarded in heaven.

 

It very unfortunate that successive governments have failed to give much attention to the teaching profession, as it is done to others, even though we all consider education as the bedrock of development.

The nation’s attitude towards the teaching profession appear to give the impression that we do not fully appreciate the value of teachers when it comes to national development.

Most often, we have seen how leaders of the country resort to the use of knee-jerk reactions anytime teachers raise concerns with regards to their conditions of service, contrary to how the grievances of other professionals are addressed.

Teachers play a very critical role in the development of every nation, especially a developing one like Ghana. Every effort must, therefore, be made to ensure that they are well catered for in terms of their conditions of service.

Recent agitations from teacher bodies like the Ghana National Association of Teachers, National Association of Graduate Teachers and Concerned Teachers of Ghana should inform us that the teacher has been neglected for far too long.

It is our hope that the shabby treatment of teachers would change soon, with the assurance from the president that his government is feverishly putting measures in place to make the teaching job very attractive and a profession of choice, instead of being seen as a stop gap measure or a job of last resort.

The President couldn’t have said it better when, at the congregation ceremony of the University of Education over the weekend, he said the teaching profession must be seen as a “viable choice to enter a well-paid, well respected profession with long term career prospects and good benefit.”

We now encourage the president to take all the right steps required to make the teaching profession attain that enviable status he thinks it should have.

Just like their counterparts in the medical, engineering, aviation and other sectors, teachers must also enjoy their fair share of the national cake and not be seen as second class professionals, especially in view of the critical role they play in national development.

It we consider education as the best thing the nation can offer its citizens, then teaching should be seen as the most important profession, and, accordingly, teachers should be seen as the most important professionals by the nation and treated as such.

Unfortunately, the practitioners of the most important profession appear to be the most shabbily treated professionals in the country.   This must stop!