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Feature Article of Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Columnist: Nuhu, Kashaa

Teachers In Deprived Communities: Is It A Punishment?

Let me make an attempt to explain deprived first to further my argument. “Deprive” simply means prevent from having or enjoying a thing. What possibly will the Teacher in the deprived communities be prevented from or having or enjoying?

Communities in rural areas are generally deprived of so many government developmental interventions to improve upon the lives of the people. These interventions include potable water, electricity, good roads, school infrastructure, toilet facilities, and social services like internet, Telecommunication, TV transmissions and others to deny the people from access to valuable information. These and many others are what the Teacher in a deprived community is faced with, posing the question is it a punishment?

This article seeks to juxtapose the Teacher in the deprived Community and that of urban area. Having gone through the same training and successfully passed the exams conducted by the University of Cape-Coast for the award of a diploma in education, the Teacher in Ga South so fortunate to be posted to Accra whereas the Teacher in Dampong, a deprived area in the Asante- Akyem district is inauspicious wallowing in obscurity.

It is gratifying to know that, the Teacher in the urban areas have sound, smooth and perfect appraisal by their Circuit Supervisors apart from all the good services they enjoy in the cities. Pupil in Accra and other urban areas are very lucky to be exposed to social life and can easily grasped what the Teacher impart and simply pass their exams as compare to the pupil in a deprived community. The Teacher handles the same syllables, the same subjects and the same class size in urban areas and it is not different in rural communities. By this logic, is it a punishment to post a teacher to deprived community?

The urban Teacher has access to all the social services and enjoys it to the maximum, so it is for the Pupils in urban area. It is not the fault of the Urban Teacher or the Teacher in the deprived area, neither the fault of the urban Pupil nor that of the deprived child to be at the disadvantage. It is nature. If it is so, it will only be proper and logic to package posting to deprived communities attractive to enticed Teachers to accept posting there to compensate for what they are deprived of to give out their best.

The Ghana Education Service has instituted measures including incentives and other attractive packages to Teachers in deprived areas as a form of motivating them to deliver satisfactorily. Whether these measures are in place and functioning is another topic for discussion. Teachers in deprived communities are always at the mercy of despair as they find it difficult to get transferred back to the urban areas once they have already accepted postings to the rural community and the same can be said about the reverse. The ensuing effects are truancy and lack of interest to give out adequately, having damaging consequence on the Pupils.

The GES, Ministry of education, and all the stake holders in this sector must come together to find a lasting solution to addressing this problem than the malfunctioning measures in place. One very important measure to addressing this problem is by posting more Teachers to these areas to reduce drastically the work load of the deprived Teacher to be fascinating enough. For example, a Teacher in Dampong DA Primary Six must be made to handle fewer subjects in other to deliver intoto. Much attention is needed at the rural areas for the fact that the Pupils are not divulge to so many things. If the rural Teacher is burdened so much, it will be a double agony thereby making it look like a punishment meted out to the Teacher.

Teachers in deprived areas must be given less years to serve to qualify for study leave with pay if they so wish to go for further studies. Better still; much percentage should be allocated for Teachers in deprived areas to go for further studies on study leave with pay. All these measures will help demystify the notion of the Teacher in deprived communities and foster in effective delivery to the pupils hence making it good to enticed more Teachers to develop interest in teaching in these areas. Teaching in deprive areas must be made competitive for the Teacher to find it difficult to refuse posting.

It will interest you to know that, over 80% of foodstuffs in the urban areas are brought from these communities. Our reach soil, which the nations depends very much on and other raw materials like Timber, Cashew, Sheanut, Cocoa are produced by these rural dwellers, yet not much is given to them in terms of expansion in education to improve the lives of these folks. Are the stake holders in education in Ghana so insensitive about the rural people and their future? Education in deprived communities must be given higher priority to broaden the people’s horizon. The Teacher in deprived area must be offered much priority.
It has been proven scientifically that, the brain formation of a child is between 2-7 years. Pupils without strong base in education are likely not to do well in the academic ladder and the Child in the deprived community is most likely to fall victim to this assertion. Therefore, the GES must give priority to the child in deprived area to catch up with the urban child who is already miles ahead. This can only be achieved when pragmatic measures are put in place for the deprived Teacher to feel more comfortable to give out his /her finest aptitude.

In sum, the rural Teacher or the Teacher in deprived community must be empowered and motivated through meager work load, huge incentives and other attractive packages to ward off Teachers mind from the urban areas to concentrate on the deprived communities. Until then, Children in deprived communities will unassailably remain second infidel to the City boys and girls they will be sitting in the Basic, Education, Certificate, and Examination (BECE) with.

By Kashaa Nuhu. jasenu11@yahoo.com

Dampong D/A J.H.S
Asante-Akyem south,

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