Teachers across the length and breadth of Ghana are the least respected by society. They are tagged with all the negative news items one can think of. Society has lost sight with the reality that, the contributions of teachers to the human resource development of this nation is second to none. At all levels of education, teachers are like the holders of the rare magic wand to the success of every child yet, they are not accorded the needed respect and courtesy.
Teaching as a vocation is publicly scorned and teachers received endless bashing. The teaching profession is losing salt and taste. Today, many upcoming children even in classrooms and lecture halls do not intend to go into teaching. Just ask, how many students in a class want to become teachers? The class may be deaf silent with no hand coming up.
The Global Teacher Status Index 2018 findings on Respect Accorded Teacher in Ghana
The truth is that, teachers are not respected. A survey by Varkey Foundation, a not-for-profit organization shed light on the rate of respect accorded teachers in 30 countries in the world including Ghana. This was contained in The Global Teacher Status Index 2018.
It found out that, teachers are respected in China than anywhere in the world. This is followed by Malaysia, Taiwan and Russia. Guess what, these are the countries that give our students schorlaships to study abraod. Is that a strange coincidence? No.
Brazil, Israel, Italy and Ghana are the countries on earth where teachers are least respected according to the survey. In Africa, Ghana is the worst place where teachers are not respected.
Strangely, the findings showed that, Ghanaians parents were more likely to encourage their children to pursue a teaching career. In Ghana, teaching is either a path to a dream career or a last resort when one’s ambition to obtain a university degree just after SHS fails.
Again, trend analysis showed older people tend to respect teachers more compared to young people receiving training or education. Graduates and men show more respect to teachers. Parents who have children accorded teachers more respect than those without kids as well.
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Why Teachers Are Not Respected
There may be very legitimate reasons why society may bash teachers. Irresponsible professional behaviours, misconducts of all kinds including defiling and rape have been leveled against some few bad nuts in the teaching profession.
Bad work ethics such as lateness and absenteeism exhibited by a few teachers do not speak well of teachers. This creates problems for the masses of dedicated teachers. Dedicated teachers do their job and mentor minds, hearts and hands of learners into holistic trained and well molded members of society.
Yet, the actions of the few bad must get every educator stereotyped as bad and unfit to be accorded the needed respect. In Ghana, bad reportage on teachers goes on unabated and viral.
It is as though, our society always wants to pin teachers in a corner where they can be disgraced. In Queensland for example, the press tend to focus on negative report on teachers just as is the case in Ghana.
Politicians, Parents, and the Public at large don’t respect teachers nor really value their contribution and so they downplay their critical roles.
Respect for teachers, Their Role in attaining SDG4 -Quality Education
Ghana has a role to play to ensure that, we attain the SDG4 to ensure we achieve inclusive and equitable education and also promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
The absence of respect for teachers in our quest to attain the SDG4 can negatively impact us. Education is a fundamental human right and is indispensable for the achievement of sustainable development. Teachers as stakeholders must not be taking for granted by government and policy makers, parents and learners to help us get there.
Salaries within the education sector for teachers are generally low. The low salary can be explained by the high levels of trained and untrained teachers within the education sector.
The huge supply and the low demand for teachers implies, those who need teachers in schools (Public and Private) determine the price (wages and salaries) to pay teachers due to the excess supply.
Until supply of teachers in Ghana is controlled like the Accounting bodies (ICAG and ACCA) do, salaries and other benefits for teachers will continue to become small no matter the raise in pay for teachers given the prevailing economic conditions. This may explain why government introcuded the The professional teaching license
This alone makes the whole dream of becoming a teacher out of the question for many. No wonder people don’t want to be teachers. If the pervasive negativity that floods the media is not checked and toned down, there may be no teacher available one day. Comparatively poor salary and working conditions exist in the education sector.
Ghana will be at the losing end if we fail to step up efforts to help the teaching profession to become attractive, gain the needed respect for educators via policy makers and attitudinal change.
Coming events cast their shadows before. The introduction of the new syllabus in Ghana must come with respect for teachers’ right from politicians maning important positions in education at all levels and educators leading the education sector.
This is needed to build a solid alliance with educators as we prepare for the advancement in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, from the Internet of Things, to artificial intelligence and robotics.
Teachers will be at the centre stage of all efforts to develop the needed man power for national development. Let us accord them the needed respect and courtesy. Teachers themselves must leave above reproach and be mentors worth celebrating.
Source: Wisdom Hammond |Newsghana24.com