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Opinions of Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Columnist: Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai

Pay teachers to enhance teaching and learning

In this day and age, every nation, including Ghana, is eager to achieve their development goals such as ‘education for all’ within the shortest possible time. However, it is sad that some teachers seem to be poorly motivated to do their job. Currently, more than 149 teachers in the Bunkpurugu Yonyo District of the Northern Region have abandoned the classrooms to protest nonpayment of their salaries since September this year.

The delay in the teachers' salaries has come about because their names have vanished from the payroll of the Controller and Accountant General Department.

According to a news story on myjoyonline.com, the Accountant Generals Department is responsible for the disbursement of salaries to the teachers. Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Solomon Namliit Boar gave the reason behind the delay in the teachers’ salaries and expressed worry about the situation. His constituency is a deprived area which does not have to suffer such a treatment.

He was at a loss why the Controller and Accountant General had failed to resolve the matter for the past 90 days, adding that the teachers' boycott of the classrooms has worsened the teacher-pupil ratio of the Bunkpurugu Yoonyo District which is already deprived in terms of educational logistics.

He called on the Ghana Education Service (GES), Ministry of Education and the Controller and Accountant General's Department to "sit up and resolve the matter".

All well meaning men and women are definitely concerned about this state of affairs which is likely to affect the nation now and the future. Currently, the pupil - teacher ratio is worsening by the day with most schools especially in the less endowed areas being run with no teachers. As a result of lack of good teachers in schools, many school pupils are said to be unable to write and read good English. The quality of knowledge of pupils is inadequate.

To add ‘insult to injury,’ the nation now requires more than 60,000 teachers in schools across Ghana to enhance teaching and learning. Studies have shown that the situation is not good.

The time has come for the government to team up with the Ghana Education Service, Ministry of Education and Parliament to act with dispatch. Yes, the time to act is now else our schools would continue to be without good teaching staff, a situation that may worsen the plight of the nation and its people in the long run.