There was once a young brilliant Ghanaian by name Komla Dumor. Young Komla wanted to become a medical doctor. However, as the turn of events of life or better still, destiny would have it, he became a journalist. He did not see journalism as just a stepping stone. Komla devoted his all to the inky profession and took it to its pinnacle. Until his untimely death, Komla became the face of news at the BBC- a global icon in news anchorage.
The question is, what could have kept young Komla in a profession he never dreamt of practising and end up doing with such a passion and commitment?
Most of us as teachers hold the view that teaching is just a stepping stone. The teaching profession as we have it today was leveraged on the sacrifices of many teachers.
The 17 pointers to consider
- The President’s recent comment about the teaching profession became a topical issue amongst both teachers and others outside the profession. There were divergent views- others acclaimed it as the bitter truth, some saw it as an insult.
Are teachers really meant not to be rich?
- Why should society, that the teaching profession has served so well for many years now, as alluded to in the president’s comments be looking down upon that same profession?
- What are other professions doing right that has placed them on high pedestal as against teachers who are the shapers of all minds and the developers of the human resource base of our country?
- Do Police, Nurses and other civil servants enjoy better salaries, allowances and working conditions than teachers?
- Have teachers lost their place of value in our societies?
- Do you believe Teachers salary can be improved beyond what it is?
- Can conditions of service of teachers be looked at again taking into consideration changes in curriculum, teacher training and professionalisation,teacher licensing, changing global trends and the incorporation of ICT and other new concepts into teaching?
- What do teachers in Ghana need most?- A hospital or a bank? Should it be our health first or our finances first?
- Is the much touted Cancer Fund just enough or we should be having a look at the bigger picture? Can we have an ultra modern or state of the art hospital facility to address the general health concerns of teachers?
- Is there an issue conflict of interest at teacher union fronts?
For instance, should a union executive who has been appointed as a headteacher at any level in the GES continue to be an executive of any union? Who is he/she going to be most likely loyal to? GES or UNION MEMBERS?
- Are our union leaders really serving the interest of their members or they are doing the biddings of politicians?
- Should not the current generation of teachers be owing allegiance to their profession rather than to politicians?
- What is the Code of Conduct and Ethics saying about teacher’s engagement in politics as professionals?
- Are teacher unions supposed to be just salary negotiation bodies or they are to be concerned with the all round welfare of the teacher? How effectively are they executing their mandate?
- You may be a young teacher today, bear in mind that, now is the time to make meaningful contributions and interventions in the teaching profession, not after you have retired. Are the decisions we are making today as teachers going to benefit us at the time of our retirement?
- What if our children wanted to follow our footsteps?
- With the current state of affairs, would our kids be motivated to take up the career?
I know some teachers have vowed not to allow their kids to take up the profession in the future. The reality is that, no one knows tomorrow!
I believe we should start having conversations around the above listed pointers if we want to make any meaningful contribution in changing the status quo as teachers.
It is high time you and I rose to the occasion to raise the standards of teaching as a profession.