Opinion: Teaching in Ghana is gradually losing its noble status

Teaching is a noble profession and is seen by many as a profession which yields respect since teaching plays a vital role in societal development. That not withstanding, some trends and issues plaguing the profession in Ghana has caused many including myself to raise questions as to whether the profession is losing its noble status. In this article, I will examine some reasons why I think teaching in Ghana is gradually losing its noble status.

To begin with, policy makers do not carefully consider teachers when making policies. The recent curriculum change is clear proof of this point. The curriculum has undergone a major revamp and yet teachers have not been provided with textbooks to effectively facilitate lessons. This has made implementation of the new curriculum a herculean task on the part of the teachers.

Some may argue that teachers must be resourceful and that is true. But on the previous curriculum, there were default textbooks provided by government that served as a great source of information for lessons. These books served as reference since they were in perfect synchronisation with the curriculum at that time. The default textbooks were enough and could be shared to individual students for their personal studies. I remember benefitting from these books when I was a student.

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To buttress my point, the content taught in most of the subjects have changed immensely and this will require teachers to be abreast with the new content. The contents were changed without any proper subject specific training. For instance, programming has now been introduced in ICT at the basic level and while that is a good thing, majority of teachers lack the expertise to treat these new programming concepts. This is because, programming wasn’t included in the college of education curriculum and also the ordinary Ghanaian teacher is not really an IT expert.

This creates a situation where the ordinary teacher at the basic level is incapable of treating these topics. I expected the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) to update the colleges of education and the teacher universities with these changes so they can update their curriculum way before implementation. That could have made the teacher abreast with the upcoming trends way before introduction of the new curriculum. To date, most teachers, especially those in deprived areas, either skip these topics or copy notes on the board for students without any proper explanation. The lack of computers to treat these topics is even a strong point. How would you teach scratch and without computers?

Another reason is the fact that teachers are paid poorly in Ghana. Remuneration of the Ghanaian teacher is nothing to write home about. Most teachers have not been put on the correct salary scale while others have been waiting like forever for payment of their salaries. The fact that even the senior professional teachers with higher ranks have their gross salary less than 500$ is an insult to this profession. I believe teacher deserve better than what they are given. Yet, when these teachers raise concerns about their poor salaries some members in society, who were taught by these same teachers will go to social media to publicly insult teachers and demand they be fired from work.

This hostile attitude by some members of the community, coupled with government’s insensitivity towards teachers has given me a strong conviction that teaching in Ghana is gradually losing its noble status.

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

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One Comment

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