You would be fortunate to find up to ten teachers in schools across districts in rural Ghana. How to get a job at Ghana Education Service (GES)
And that’s not only because teachers are in short supply but primarily because of poor education outcomes.
Apart from poor planning and policy gaps that make an already poor situation worse, infrastructure deficit is also high.
Kwame Mensah is a 36 year old teacher who is looking beyond all the glaring challenges to help rural pupils.
But as head teacher of the Lonpe MA Primary School, the burden is even higher.
He would have to traverse an incredibly long distance to be in school on time. But how he manages to get to school when his means of transport is unavailable, like when his motorbike broke down one day, is a story to behold.
After a 9 kilometre ride offered him by a good samaritan who was returning from hospital with his wife, he would have had to swim across a river –Dakar — and then continue for three more kilometres.
These challenges coupled with poor infrastructure and lack of furniture and textbooks makes this even more dire.
Kwame’s connection with rural schools begun when he completed college in 2009 and has since moved from one school to another and admits, teaching here is frustrating as it is dangerous.
“Teaching in rural communities is not an easy task especially as I have to swim across this river everyday to get to my school. My family is very worried”
“The pupils are at a huge disadvantage because I have to teach all the classes from basic one to six and this is stressful”
This situation continues to impact negatively on the teacher and the learner, especially in rural communities.
The plight of this compassionate teacher who has defied all odds in the rural areas to sacrifice for a good cause of helping to mold the future of these little ones needs to be recognized by the authorities, especially the Government and to reward him accordingly.
This man by all intent and purposes, deserves state recognition, in view of the fact that his very life is at stake, journey to school through swimming daily, which has a lot of implications for his life.
This is the sort of person who deserves an award and not those who ply their teaching trade in the urban cities and towns.
It is so unfortunate that the Ghana Education Service has not spotted this selfless and hard work of this teacher when it comes to rewarding teachers who have distinguished themselves creditably in their annual Teachers” Day Award schemes.
There are so many unsung heroes in the remotest part of the country, who remain unnoticed because there is nobody to sing their song or to bring their situation to the limelight.
The Ghana Education Service must lead the way to single out these hardworking and selfless teachers for them to be rewarded accordingly. Ghanaians should congratulate this devoted and compassionate teacher for his selfless, meritorious and humanitarian services to mother Ghana.
Education watchers have maintained the uneven distribution of resources between the urban and rural areas and the ultimate outcomes require a review.
Executive director of Africa Education Watch – Ghana, Kofi Asare, has been doing a lot of work in this regard.
He believes the time is now to demand concrete action on rural education if something is to change.
A recent survey conducted by his organization, Edu Watch reveal, more than 42,000 teachers left the profession in 2021 alone.
Data from Social Education Research further also indicates, at least 10,000 teachers leave the classroom every year to seek other job opportunities.
The situation continues to impact the teacher and the learner especially in the rural communities.
As Ghana seeks to achieve zero hunger among other SDGs, government reforms must also consider the plight of the rural teacher.
Until then, things would remain dire and even deteriorate further.
Majority of Teachers posted to these rural areas either don’t accept it or do reposting to other places.
More organizations are on the GES to make teaching in this areas more conducive and attractive, the teachers there deserves some extra allowance and better chance to upgrade.
Most teachers regret joining the service especially when they are close to pension, some teach for over 30 years and would still have nothing to show for it.
In an interview sighted by seekersnewsgh.comthe former Minister of Education Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh listed numerous allowances enjoyed by teachers but according to the Teachers, these allowances are just on book and do not reflect in real life.
Some includes Rent allowance, Salary Advance, Vehicle maintenance allowance, leaves etc. Even inn recent time, a communication came that Teachers occupying bungalows should pay with arrears.