October 5 every year is set aside by UNESCO, to celebrate the resilience of teachers all around the world.
It commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1996 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers, and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, teaching and learning conditions.
Being a teacher, according to UNESCO, provides the unique opportunity to make a transformative and lasting impact on the lives of others, contributing to shaping sustainable futures and offering personal fulfilment.
This year’s celebration should remind out government that, teachers are the bedrock of any modern society. Apart from shaping the future of generations, they serve as role models for the youth.
Beyond the rhetoric’s and the usual promises, president Akufo-Addo and the his education minister, Dr Yaw Adutwum, in addressing the challenges facing education in the country, the needs of teachers, must always come first.
The theme for this year is, “The Teachers We Need for the Education We Want: The Global Imperative to Reverse Teacher Shortage”.
The theme speaks to a major gap in Ghana’s education sector; the shortage of qualified and quality teachers, should serve as another wake-up call.
According to available data, Ghana as at 2021, has 239,180 to cater for 5,879,147, this is from Kindergarten, Primary to Junior High school.
Ghanaian teachers are poorly remunerated, especially those teaching in private schools, some don’t even earn the minimum wage of GH¢14.88.
The world today is knowledge driven, although we are Ghana, our students are competing with their counterparts globally. To compete favorably, requires acquisition of cutting-edge skills and information. Constantly, there should be better welfare package for the teachers.
The Registrar of the National Teaching Council, Dr Christian Addai-Poku, has raised concerns about the significant attrition rate in Ghana’s education sector, emphasizing that it poses a considerable threat to the country’s educational landscape.
In a recent statement, Dr Addai-Poku, revealed that over 16,000 Ghanaian teachers, have applied for positions with the Department of Education in the United Kingdom in the current year alone.
By June 13, 2023, approximately 10,000 of these applicants, holding Ghana Teacher Licenses, were granted certification to work in the UK, without requiring further assessment by the UK government.
To stem this tide, however, the government should improve the training of teachers, their welfare, as well as career progression.