An Open Letter from an Aggrieved Teacher to the Union Leaders

The work of a classroom teacher is, without a doubt, a journey that tugs at the heart and soul. It’s a dedication that stretches far beyond the confines of textbooks and meticulously crafted lesson plans. A classroom teacher stands as a radiant beacon of knowledge and a compassionate nurturer of young minds, an architect shaping the very future of our world.

In the eyes of their students, a remarkable teacher is more than just an instructor; they are a guiding light, a wellspring of inspiration, and a steadfast source of strength. Their influence extends beyond the classroom, etching indelible imprints upon the hearts and minds of those they touch. Their impact is enduring, their vocation is profound, and their role is nothing short of being architects of destinies.

However, as we marvel at the dedication of these unsung heroes, it is crucial to recognize the struggles they face. The financial strength required to carry out this sacred duty is often lacking. It is disheartening to note that the very institutions meant to protect and uplift these educators, namely the government and our unions, have not always upheld their ends of the bargain.

In November of 2021, teachers across the nation experienced a significant blow to their finances. A staggering GHC 509.55 was deducted from their hard-earned salaries for the ostensible purpose of providing laptops as part of the “1 teacher 1 laptop initiative.” While some embraced this initiative with open arms, others were left with heavy hearts, questioning its necessity. What followed was a perplexing defense of this initiative by our union leaders, to the point where one even resorted to insulting the integrity of teachers on public platforms.

Now, two years have passed, and the laptops have indeed found their way into some teachers’ hands. However, the problems that accompanied this initiative are numerous and vexing, left largely unaddressed. Shockingly, a substantial number of teachers have yet to receive these laptops, and the deafening silence from the very union leaders who once fervently advocated for the initiative is disturbing.

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The same leaders who asserted that these laptops would revolutionize teaching and learning are now conspicuously absent, neglecting to implore the government to fulfill its promises and distribute the remaining laptops. Do they no longer care if some children are denied the opportunity to benefit from this technology? Do they no longer care if teachers have access to these essential tools for education? Why should some be favored while others are left disadvantaged? It is agonizing to witness teachers repeatedly subjected to such treatment with seemingly no one to champion their cause.

The ordeal does not end with the laptops. Teachers are now compelled to navigate a labyrinthine process to process their documents with the controller, often at their own expense. And this is not the only indignity they face. Shameless individuals peddle services promising to facilitate teachers’ career advancement and pay raises in exchange for money, an unsavory practice that has become commonplace. Regrettably, our union leaders, who were once educators themselves, remain strangely silent.

This situation paints a bleak picture of the regard teachers in Ghana receive, even from those who once stood in their shoes. As passionate advocates for education and the well-being of our beloved teachers, we implore you to stand alongside us in addressing these pressing concerns. It is high time that teachers receive the support and recognition they so rightly deserve, not only from society at large but from the very unions and government entities that should be their staunchest allies.

Let us unite in our mission to ensure that the invaluable work of our teachers is respected, honored, and adequately supported, for they are the bedrock upon which the future of our nation rests.

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Teacher, Blogger, Comic writer, riveting stories concerning the Ghanaian citizenry and the world at large.

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