The CEO for CEEP Educational Consult, Bernard Oduro Takyi (B.O.T) has bemoaned the working conditions of Ghanaian teachers, especially those working in public schools.
The former Presiding Member for the Sunyani West Municipal Assembly noted with worry that the concerns of teachers in terms of remuneration and other working conditions are bad that the leadership of the country ought to Swiftly move to tackle the challenges that have existed for decades.
Speaking on TonTon Sansan on TV XYZ on the sidelines of World Teachers Day, Takyi, a former youth activist of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) blamed the Akufo-Addo government for making the profession less attractive.
“If you leave education management in the hands of capitalists [like the NPP] you won’t get good results,” he told host Kwame Minkah.
He explained that there were outstanding issues between teachers across the country and the government to settle over salary increment and other allowances but the government looks reluctant.
Takyi, who contested the 2020 elections in the Sunyani West Constituency as an independent candidate, admitted he had faith in the leadership of President Akufo-Addo until he realized the electorates of the country had been taken for granted by the government.
“The Bible says where there is a will, there is the way. If someone wants to do something, regardless of the challenges, you’ll be committed to doing it,” he said. “Teacher produces lawyers, doctors, politicians.”
Reacting to the challenges facing the education sector, he said the capitalist approach to solving the challenges of the Ghanaian education sector is not the best.
“If your education sector is being run by capitalists, you have a problem. Capitalists look for results; they don’t care about the processes. To them, the end justifies the results unlike socialists who are keen on the processes to getting good results.”
“The teacher you want to buy for the teacher, the teacher is teaching under trees, they don’t have chalks to teach the pupils, so the processes that will give the teacher an enabling environment are not there,” he contended. “In my candid view, teachers need better treatment.”
He went on. “teaching is a gift and that is a gift God gave some people so if they say they will teach and impart knowledge to Ghanaians, make the profession attractive.”
To him, the government has been using the implementation of the free senior high school policy as an excuse to shirk some major responsibilities in the education sector.
A panel member on the programme, Norbert Gbogbotsi who is a professional teacher has lamented over the lack of chalk for teachers to teach as well as bad working conditions for teachers.
He said schools in some communities in the Eastern Region had no chalks.
“Teachers are given two sticks of chalk to teach the whole day and we don’t have people to solve this problem,” Gbogbotsi alleged.
Apart from the reluctance to pay transfer grants and promotional differences for teachers, Gbogbotsi, a former spokesman for the teacher union, CCT, said the salaries of trained teachers in basic schools were very bad.
But Bernard Oduro Takyi said the government looked uninterested in getting the challenges resolved to pave way for quality education.
He said the free SHS policy was implemented in a rush thereby compromising the already shaky quality of the country’s education.
“To me, the progressively free senior high school policy introduced by the NDC would have helped than this free senior high school policy saddled with challenges,” he argued in Akan. “This government rushed and it is falling.”
Bernard wants the government to implement the recommendations of educationists and other stakeholders, including teacher unions to deal with the issues hampering quality education from the basic to the tertiary school level.
But he doubts the commitment on the part of the government suggests the challenges will be tackled in due course, having analysed critically the first tenure of the Akufo-Addo administration.