The opposition National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa South Constituency in the Upper East Region, Dr Clement Abas Apaak has advocated that teachers should be given a better conditions of service than all professions in the country.
He asserted that teachers in the country should be well commended and appreciated more than politicians, engineers, doctors and architects, as teachers are those who trained these professionals
Speaking in a media interview on Saturday, October 7 2023, the Minority Ranking Member on the Education Committee of Parliament underscored how countries elsewhere have prioritized giving better condition of service to teachers to improve teaching and learning outcomes.
“We need to reconfigure because this is not acceptable, it is not best practice and so why are we maintaining a structure that is not going to motivate and encourage the teachers to give out their best. They are doing a lot already but we know they can do even better so what is holding us back as a nation, as a society in putting our money where our mouth is”Dr. Clement Abas Apaak
Apaak Bemoans of High Teacher Attrition Rate In Ghana
The Builsa South Member of Parliament decried about the high level of attrition rate of teachers in the country and indicated that the country has refused to acknowledge the significant roles, values and indispensable contributions of teachers, which has led to their mass exit.
He expressed concerns that Ghana does not seem to give due consideration to adequately motivating and supporting its teachers
Dr. Apaak indicated that teachers like several other Ghanaians bears the consequences of the economic hardships including high levels of inflation in the country.
He therefore argued that improving the condition of services of teachers in the country would help address the issue of most teachers leaving the profession.
Dr. Apaak also agreed with Reverend Isaac Owusu, the President of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) who refuted the argument made by the Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, that Ghana does not have a teacher shortage but rather a deployment challenge.
In view of this, Dr. Apaak cited examples from his own constituency, Builsa South, where teacher shortages was evident.
He called on the Education Minister to take proactive measures to address the teacher distribution problem and ensure that teachers posted to rural areas discharge their responsibilities effectively.
“The Minister shouldn’t lament with us, we should not be hearing the minister tell us that there’s no shortage but rather the issue has to do with distribution. What is he doing to ensure that when teachers are posted to rural villages, they take up those appointments, they go there and they stay to teach?”Dr. Clement Abas Apaak
Dr. Apaak underscored the importance of acknowledging the teacher shortages issue in Ghana and urged the Education Minister to take concrete actions to resolve it, rather than underming its severity.
Meanwhile, the ruling New Patriotic Party’s Communications Director, Richard Ahiagbah argued that members of the various teachers associations must take portion of the responsibility for the insufficient teachers in rural areas in the country.
According to Mr Ahiagbah, majority of teachers after years of training turn down postings to rural areas, while others seek transfers from there.
The Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum speaking during the Ghana Teachers Prize event organised in Takoradi on Thursday, October 5 2023 revealed that despite the challenges confronting the education sector in other jurisdictions with teacher shortage, Ghana is privileged to have replete of teachers.
He clarified that the absence of teachers in some schools is due to deployment issues which is being addressed.